Coach Sheridan Willard was looking for improvement from the Lady Rams, and she found it Friday against Dublin even if Mineral Wells didn’t crack the win column.
“We started slow, and that’s something we have been doing,” Willard said. “We need to get out of the gate quicker. It takes us about ten points before we get going.”
Being down early is a big problem for a young team, and Mineral Wells proved to be no different as Dublin would run out to early leads before the Lady Rams began to put plays and attacks together.
For Williard, the frustrating part is how well Mineral Wells played at times. At one point in their second set, the Lady Rams ran off seven straight points and had several other stretches where they went on runs like 5-1 and 4-1.
Mineral Wells biggest problem was unforced errors and too many attacks that ended up with the ball in the upper portion of the net and not over it.
“Right now it’s all mentality,” Willard said. “We get close in a game, and suddenly we freak out and make errors.”
Willard pointed to how the Lady Rams begin struggling when they get to the 18-point mark and aren’t finishing off their opponent.
“It’s a process, and we haven’t gotten all the eay through it yet,” Willard said.
While the Lady Rams may not have gotten a win against Dublin, the differences between their first game against Millsap and Dublin was like night and day. Mineral Wells moved the ball well on offense and went from just trying to get the ball over the net to solid attacks.
Willard may have been frustrated by the unforced errors, but the Lady Rams’ had several innovative attacks and once thoughts are replaced by physical reactions, things should turn the corner toward more positive scores.
Hitter Brooklyn Ellis was a force at the net both attacking and blocking, and she combined well with Meagan Waldrum on defense. Waldrum and BreAnna Hunt also fared well attacking while Sasha Kirsch continues to improve setting the ball.
“Our biggest goal right now is hesitating instead of just going,” Willard said. “We can’t wait for other players to do something. We have to react not think, because at times we are overthinking.”
Ellis twinged her right ankle against Dublin, and while she did later return to the action, it forced Willard to switch her lineup around.
“Brooklyn is one of our better players and not having her in the lineup hurts us,” Willard said. “It did give us a chance to work on a different look and let the girls learn some new roles. It is important for us to learn different positions and grow as a team that will only make us stronger in the long run.”