The Sherman volleyball team opened its season with a loss in four games against Sulphur Springs before rebounding with a 27-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19 victory against Paris North Lamar to close out a dual match in Bearcat Gymnasium on Tuesday.
In the victory against North Lamar, Kylie Jackman had 13 kills, Alexis Jackman added 10 kills, Avery Charske chipped in seven kills, Cameron Wecker totaled 26 digs and seven assists, Ashley Boatright handed out 16 assists and Samantha Graham finished with 14 assists for Sherman.
In the loss against Sulphur Springs, Kylie Jackman had 10 kills, Alexis Jackman put down seven kills, Wecker collected 22 digs to go with five assists, Boatright contributed 12 assists and Graham added 11 assists.
After losing the opening game, Sulphur Springs earned the 21-25, 25-21, 25-17, 28-26 win with Sherman falling just short of forcing a deciding Game 5.
Sherman, which is coming off its best season in over a decade and reached the postseason for the first time since 2005, was unable to build on the momentum of starting the match well.
The Lady Cats, who will compete in the Princeton Tournament starting on Thursday, won Game 1 of the match and pulled ahead for good after the game was nip and tuck until late in the action when Sherman took control to close out Sulphur Springs.
Head coach Ashley Aleman says that winning the opening stanza was about eliminating errors.
“We are a new team; we have kids playing new roles,” Aleman said. “The first set we just didn’t have many unforced errors. There’s going to be some growing pains but once we get everyone better at their role we’ll be alright.”
Sherman dropped Game 2 despite getting off to a good start. After taking a 4-0 lead early, the Lady Cats couldn’t recover the momentum. Sulphur Springs jumped in front and was able to secure the frame to tie the match at one.
The Lady Cats went on to lose Game 3 as well by a score of 25-17. Sherman could never get anything going after falling behind early and that set up a must-win situation to keep the match alive.
Sherman started off Game 4 with a 9-2 lead before giving up a big run and Sulphur Springs stormed back. The Lady Cats showed their grit but were unable to push Sulphur Springs to the deciding fifth game.
According to Aleman, Sulphur Springs switched up its attack and did just enough to hold off Sherman’s comeback attempt.
“They brought some tips at us, so we had to adjust to their tips,” Aleman said. “They started swinging so then you gotta adjust your defense. They kept my defense guessing where they were going with the ball.”
Despite the loss in the first match of the season, there are some positives that the Lady Cats can take from it.
“Every game we’re going to get better,” Aleman said. “We knew we were going to have some growing pains at the beginning but once we can work out those kinks and work out those small errors and everyone gets better at their job we’re going to be alright.”