Team captain Kayla Lawler has one message for the women’s volleyball team following its 3-1 loss against Bryant. Stay focused.
“We need everyone just doing one thing better, one less error,” Lawler said.
A 25-14 loss in the third set caused concern for Lawler because of how well the Bobcats played otherwise.
“We fought really hard the first, second, and fourth games, but we came out the third game and weren’t mentally ready,” Lawler said.
The Bobcats split the first two sets, winning 27-25, and losing 29-27, both in extra points. The Bobcats rebounded from a shaky third set to force Bryant into extra points, but eventually lost the fourth set 27-25.
Sophomore Taylor Payne led the way for the Bobcats with a career-high 19 kills.
With only eight available players due to illness and injury, Bobcat head coach Robin Sparks was forced to get creative with her lineup.
“We tried to do a lot of work with people playing a little bit of everywhere, because when you get down to situations where you have eight people, you have to have people who can step in,” Sparks said.
The most noticeable Bobcat to step up was Lawler, who gathered 14 digs to go along with her 52 sets.
“She played great, and she had good digs, and that makes it nice to know because we work so hard ,” Sparks said.
Photo credit: Ilya Spektor
The loss drops the Bobcats to 6-22 (4-10 NEC) on the season while Bryant improves to 18-16 (5-10 NEC). The Bobcats had entered the game with an outside shot at making the NEC Tournament to the surprise of many, but not the team.
“I think if you took a poll on this campus, the only people who thought we’d be still be playing to get in the conference tournament are in this gym today, and playing on this court. There’s not another soul who thought we had a shot at it this year,” Sparks said.
The Bobcats are next in action Saturday at 2 p.m. as they host St. Francis (N.Y.) and will conclude their season Sunday at home against Central Connecticut State University.
Sparks remains positive and hopes a competitive 2010 campaign will help her team improve for the future.
“I think all these tight games are only going to pay off for us,” Sparks said. “We are learning how to play hard, and how to fight, and we’ll fight until the end.”