Part of Augusta's volleyball team's struggles at Tuesday night's home triangular was the competition. But there were bigger issues in coach Rich Bishop's mind.
"Lack of effort, especially the second match. Everybody was waiting on somebody else to do something and nobody did anything," coach Rich Bishop said.
Augusta had two great sets, but that wasn't enough in a pair of tough three-set home losses. Buhler started the night with a 25-27, 25-21, 25-18, then Mulvane closed the night with a 25-20, 19-25, 25-11 win.
The Orioles were in trouble twice against the Crusaders in the opening set. Buhler jumped out to a 5-1 lead, then later led 12-8, but the Orioles pieced together a 5-1 stretch to tie it at 13-13. Abby Tipton had a kill and a block while Mariah Zerr had an ace and Katy Nordman added a kill during the stretch.
Buhler again built up leads at 20-15 and 23-19. But the Orioles rallied as Tipton got a big kill, Madison Macari got a kill to tie it 25-25, and Nordman and Zerr had back-to-back kills to take the first set.
The Crusaders led most of Set 2 before the Orioles got close at 21-19 after a Nordman block. But Buhler finished out the set this time around. The Crusaders used an 11-4 run to take control of the final set for the win.
"If we can't run our offense and do our thing, we get totally down," Zerr said. "...A lot of times it just takes one sideout for us."
Buhler 6-footer Traeleas Jackson gave the Orioles fits at the net. She had several blocks that ended scoring opportunities for the Orioles.
Against Mulvane, though, it wasn't so much about personnel as it was effort. Mulvane scored on several kills as the Orioles defense struggled to slow down the Wildcats.
Nordman scored three straight points to win the second set for the Orioles, but Mulvane blew away Augusta with a 6-0 start and a 14-3 run to breeze through the final set. Six of those points came on offensive errors by Augusta.
"When we make mistakes, we get down," Zerr said. "We need to keep the ball on their side and keep the momentum. Let them make the mistake."
The Orioles will prepare for their first regular-season tournament at Douglass this Saturday.