A losing streak continues to frustrate the Lady Bucs, who were swept at home Tuesday night during their first match at the Toepke Center this season.
The Williston State College Tetons, the National Junior College Athletic Association's #21 pre-season pick in division II play, defeated the Buccaneers with scores of 10-25, 19-25 and 16-25.
"I feel like we came overly excited and underprepared for our home crowd," said John Marble, DCC volleyball head coach. "We had a lot of nerves."
The Dawson Community College volleyball team is now 0-9 heading in to a road trip to Canada Thursday and Marble said the women seem to have fallen in to a pattern of hesitant starts; This is the third time the team has opened a match with a first set score ending at 10-25. The Bucs also started out contests with Sheridan College and Ellsworth Community College the same way.
"We hesitate in terms of our movement and our commitment," Marble said.
Unlike Tuesday's match at home, the Bucs came back with second set wins in the other two cases.
This time it wasn't to be.
The Bucs did, however, show exciting momentum during the second set against Williston, gaining one of their only leads during the contest midway through that game.
"The middle of game two was very solid," Marble said. "We played with great energy. We were scrappy defensively. We really put it together well."
DCC's defensive game continues to be a highlight for the program, with freshman Kirby Sabec again leading the team in blocks with three on the match. Newcomer Ariel Johnson came up with six digs, and offensively, Sabec and Megan Young each had four kills on the night.
A crowd of nearly 200 turned out to watch the Bucs, and Marble said the energy in the gym was exciting.
"We had a great crowd tonight," he said. "It was great to see them loud and active."`
The next home match is set for Sept. 29.
The women leave Thursday to play against Briercrest College in Caronport, Sask., followed by a conference matchup against Dakota College at Bottineau on Friday.
Marble said he looks forward to a more relaxed atmosphere in Caronport, where the Bucs will play an exhibition match against the Candian team.
"This is their first match of the season and we're going to play five games regardless of the outcome, so we can do some different things and get some players more playing time," he said.
Marble, a Canadian national who enjoys dual citizenship, said he looks forward to networking with schools north of the border who are a shorter distance for the Bucs to travel than some of the stateside colleges on the schedule.
"I'm pretty excited about going to Canada and playing," he said. "There are a lot of good teams we'll match with there well."
The Bottineau match will be the Buccaneers' third Mon-Dak conference contest of the year. Marble said the team matched up well with the Ladyjacks last year; in fact, Bottineau was the Lady Bucs' inaugural season opener and the women's first win of the year in 2008.
"I anticipate we're going to prepare to match up and compete," he said.
The women will be working on mental preparation going in to the Thursday and Friday matches, Marble said.
"One of the things we talked about as a team is what we do to adequately prepare for matches," he said. "It made a difference for us last weekend but it didn't translate that well in to today."