Reality checkPublished 4:27pm Monday, October 7, 2013
The Benjamin Russell Wildcats volleyball team intended to find out just exactly how good it was at this past weekend’s Battle of Old Shell Road tournament in Mobile.
What the Class 5A, No. 4 Wildcats discovered, however, was that they still have work to do as they head toward the homestretch of the season.
Despite downing Theodore to open pool play at the tounament, the Wildcats tasted defeat three straight times, losing to eventual tournament runner-up and Class 6A No. 8 Baker (11-25, 25-18, 9-15) in pool play. After that, BRHS fell to Class 3A No. 6 Cottage Hill in tournament play in straight sets (15-25, 24-26), and lost to Daphne in the consolation round.
Class 5A, No. 1 St. Paul’s won the tournament.
BRHS volleyball coach Pam Robinson said she wasn’t happy with the team’s play.
“We didn’t do very well,” Robinson said. “I was very disappointed in us. We didn’t play to the level that we’re capable of playing to. We didn’t play to our standard. I’m especially disappointed in our loss to Daphne. We lacked focus and intensity, and we gave up too many soft points.”
Robinson said that while the Wildcats did not play to their potential, she feels that the less-than-stellar outing gave the team something to build from as they head toward the regular season’s end. Robinson added that the tournament was a bit of a reality check for the team.
“When you’re still able to compete wth the top teams in the state when you’re not at your best, I guess that’s a good thing,” Robinson said. “Until this point, we hadn’t dropped many sets. I told the team that sometimes you think you’re invincible and then you end up taking winning for granted. I let them know that you can’t do that. We have to bring it every single match. Hopefully we use this as a springboard to get better.”
Next for the Wildcats, as they attempt to close the season on a high note, will be a road matchup against Chilton County on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Following that, BRHS will have its final home match of the season on Thursday when it hosts Carver-Montgomery and Hewitt-Trussville on senior night.
“There should be some good matches, and we’re hoping that people come out and watch us play,” Robinson said. “We’ve got to pick up our focus. If you lose focus, you get caught just standing around. If we pick up our intensity, we’ll be fine. We came out a little flat this past weekend. It wasn’t horrible, but I know we can be so much better.”