No matter how good or talented a team is, unforced errors can make it look like a bad team, especially when they happen at a critical time in a game.
Unforced errors at critical times have been a problem for the Marauders volleyball team in several games this season, causing the talented, senior-laden team to miss some valuable opportunities.
One valuable opportunity presented itself on Thursday, Oct. 25, when the Marauders faced the Greenway Demons in the Mingus Union High School gymnasium with everything to play for.
The No. 10-seeded Demons [14-2] are firmly in the state playoff picture, and a victory over them could have pushed the No. 21-seeded Marauders [7-8] into the playoff picture as well.
But that old nemesis, unforced errors, came into play once again, and the Demons left town with a 3-1 [25-18, 18-25, 25-21, 25-21] victory that could have been a Marauders victory.
“It was just an error after an error,” said Marauders head coach Amanda Puckett. “Normally, I would say it’s a mental game for us, but I just think that we weren’t capitalizing on the points we needed to.”
It was a game characterized by extreme momentum shifts between the two teams, especially in the fourth set which saw the Demons take a 15-5 lead before Mingus outscored them 16-3, and then the Demons scored the last seven straight points to win the match.
It was senior night for a Marauders team that has a roster full of seniors, and Puckett said that also may have affected the players.
“There was a lot of emotion tonight just because of it being senior night,” Puckett said. “I think that’s why we fought so hard the fourth [set] when we came back. It’s just a tough loss.”
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Oct. 30, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.