Ryne Gallacher / The Outlook Ryann Ruffin (22) serves the ball for Benjamin Russell.

The Wildcats (6-5) were humbled Tuesday when they took on area opponent Stanhope Elmore and lost, 3-1, in a hard-fought matchup.

Hostility was in the air inside the Wildcats’ gym when Stanhope Elmore arrived. The game was back and forth but ultimately the Wildcats came up short.

The Mustangs came out firing, beating the Wildcats, 25-19, in the first set and 25-15 in the second set.

“We didn’t come to play (Tuesday),” Wildcats’ coach Magan Ford said. “I told them they are still in the locker room, so I challenged them to step up and play or let someone else take your spot.”

The Wildcats responded to Ford’s challenge, winning the third set 25-21 and seemed to get their swagger back as the momentum shifted. Unfortunately, the Mustangs got the better of Benjamin Russell, edging out the Wildcats 25-22 for the 3-1 victory.

“They responded by coming out in winning the next set,” Ford said. “They fought and had a chance to win the fourth set but we didn’t.”

There were some positives to be taken from Tuesday’s match, though, Ford said.

“I loved the fight we showed though,” Ford said. “That’s the fight I have been looking for this season, now we just have to do it consistently.”

Consistency has been the word of emphasis from Ford to her team in recent games.

“When we look good, we look really good,” Ford said. “The flip side of that is when we look bad, we look really bad. We are going to make errors, that’s part of the game, but I’ve been telling them it’s how we respond after the error that makes the difference. Everyone is going to make errors. How are you going to react?”

The Wildcats take on Beauregard at home on Wednesday.

Ryne Gallacher is a sports writer for The Outlook.