BELTON — Stacy Meyers has high expectations for the Belton volleyball team.
She expects her Lady Tigers to perform at a high level, and when one player is off, she expects someone else to pick them up.
Meyers has reason for confidence this season as eight of the 12 members of the squad are seniors and most have enough varsity experience to help the few underclassman on the team.
So when Belton underperforms, as it did during Tuesday night’s 25-22, 25-20, 25-23 sweep of Marble Falls, Meyers gets befuddled, annoyed and flat-out confused.
“It’s great to get a win, but it seems like we keep playing down to our opponents,” said Meyers. “Marble Falls was out of position and rotation most of the night, but we played into those mistakes rather than take advantage of them.”
The errors started immediately and didn’t subside for the remainder of the match. Holding a 3-1 lead in Game 1, Belton (15-8) senior Danae Allison hit her serve out of bounds and the Lady 'Stangs earned five more points off unforced errors — twice on too many hits and net faults and once on a hit out to make the score 6-4 in favor of Marble Falls (7-10).
The lead stretched to 10-5
before the Lady Tigers battled back and took the lead on their way to the win. Senior Monica Gonzalez set the standard for Belton as she had four blocks for kills in the game.
“We just kept giving them points the whole night,” Meyers said. “It was worse in the first two games but we have to improve on that for district if we have any hopes of achieving our goals this season. But our front row played the best they’ve played all season and Monica had a lot to do with that.”
Gonzalez finished the night with five kills and eight blocks for kills while Brieanne Brown led all players with 11 kills to go with her 10 digs. Bailey Borger had 11 assists, and Kinsey Williams tallied 17 digs.
The team effort was enough to win.
“Just doing enough to win is how we’ve played all year. Why? I don’t know,” Meyers said.
“We have plenty of senior leadership, but for some reason we don’t play to our potential.”
When things started to go the way Meyers expected, something would happen to derail the Lady Tigers’ momentum — be it a mental error, a positional mistake or several official timeouts to figure out what was happening.
“There were three stoppages by the officials and they even said that was too many — the delays aren’t the reason why we played poorly, but they did happen.”
There were some other bright spots for Belton. Sophomore Abbey Morgan was elevated to varsity prior to the game and performed admirably for the Lady Tigers.
Morgan had strong serves all night and even helped clinch Game 2 by turning an 18-18 tie into a 22-18 lead Belton didn’t lose.