Hope Hall of North Union goes up to send the ball over the net in this file photo. The Lady Cats fell to Benjamin Logan on Thursday. (Journal-Tribune file photo)
With just two matches under its belt and battling some inexperience, the North Union volleyball team would have to deal with another factor on Thursday.
The Lady Cats (0-3) took to their home court against undefeated Benjamin Logan, which had won its first eight matches.
If the Raiders, however, were thinking it was going to be a walk in the park, they soon found out there was some tall grass they would have to get through to earn a victory.
In the end, North Union fell in three sets, 24-26, 20-25, 15-25.
A lot of things, though, pleased head coach Alexis Maenz despite the defeat.
“I was pleased with the effort and we came out strong with a lot of energy,” Maenz said. “We got some momentum and played at the level we want.”
The Lady Cats nearly came away with a win in the first set.
A five-point run, led by a kill from Candace Holloway and a service ace by Zoe Wedding, gave North Union a 10-5 lead.
NU continued to put pressure on the Raiders as a kill by Sienna Ballinger made it 13-9.
Benjamin Logan bounced back to take a 17-16 edge following a kill by Ryelle Gibson.
North Union then roared back with a six-point spurt.
Back-to-back aces by Hope Hall capped the run, giving NU a 22-17 lead.
A block by Ballinger put the Lady Cats at set point (24-20).
A net serve led to seven straight points by the Raiders and a first-set win.
“We got a little timid at the end,” Maenz said. “We have to keep the mindset to attack and attack.”
North Union trailed 7-3 early in the second set, but battled back to take an 8-7 lead following kills by Riley Heminger and Hall.
A block by Ellie Keever helped the Lady Cats to an 11-9 cushion.
The lead bounced back and forth with neither team holding a lead of more than three points.
Leading 19-18, Benjamin Logan scored four straight points for a 24-18 lead.
A kill by Lily Blackburn closed out the set at 25-20.
The Raiders jumped out quickly in the third game, scoring nine of the first 10 points.
A kill by Hall got North Union to within six at 12-6,
NU, however, could get no closer as Benjamin Logan went on a 4-1 run to close out the match.
“We use every game as a learning experience,” Maenz said. “We have some injuries, but we have had people step in to do the job for us. When we find that spark, we will be OK.”
Hall finished with five kills and two service aces while Ballinger counted three kills.
Wedding and Kyla Sedgwick each had 13 digs and Holloway dished out six assists.
Benjamin Logan won the freshman contest 25-20, 25-12 and followed with a 25-10, 25-7 victory in the JV contest.
North Union returns to action at Springfield Shawnee on Saturday.