Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Brady volleyball team moves to 6-2

Sargent knocks Eagles out of sync.

It was a week of ups and downs for the Brady volleyball team but what coach Lynne Johnson hopes her players focus on is the positive things that come from both winning and losing.

Brady easily defeated a salty Stapleton/McPherson County (SMC) in triangular action on Sept. 8.

Johnson said winning 25-23, 25-13 gave the Eagles confidence.

“It was a good win over a solid opponent,” she said.

Then Paxton came along.

“Paxton is always going to be a good volleyball team,” Johnson said, “and they carry their stigma but we really need to learn to hold our mental toughness for longer periods of time.”

The Eagles didn’t give in easily, losing 25-20, 25-12.

The mental aspect of the game was better when the Eagles faced SMC again Thursday on the road. In a full gymnasium and close quarters, Brady pulled out a victory in four sets.

“There were a few times we really had to battle,” Johnson said, “but they got the job done. That’s what counts.”

The roller coaster continued its upswing with Brady’s first match at the Seven Valleys Tournament in Callaway on Saturday.

The Eagles defeated Mullen 18-25, 25-23 and 25-21.

“After we lost the first set, the girls really did a good job of staying focused and coming back to take the game,” Johnson said.

But the intensity didn’t stick around into the next round. Brady came out flat against Sargent and lost 25-8, 25-16.

“I really hate games like that,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t even feel like you’re playing. There was no intensity and I think maybe the girls were a little over confident.”

The frustration of losing to Sargent—a team Johnson said was certainly beatable—left the Eagles out of rhythm.

“It took us awhile to get back to where we felt like everyone was on the same page,” the coach said. “They weren’t fighting or picking at each other. I think they were all equally disappointed in the loss and probably a little shocked.”

Regardless of what caused the Eagle momentum to come to a screeching halt, Johnson said the girls turned it around enough to pull off a 26-24, 25-9 win over Sandhills/Thedford in their final match.

“Everyone’s expectations were so high that I think they were all disappointed in themselves for losing to Sargent,” Johnson said.

The lessons they take away from that game will hopefully remind them how important mental preparation and teamwork are for all games, not just the big ones, she said.

Individual statistics were not available.

Brady (6-2) hosts Callaway (3-3) on Friday in the homecoming match. Johnson said the goal will be to get the team mentally back on track and focused on working as a unit.

The C game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. followed by reserves and varsity.