The Hastings volleyball team hosted Mahtomedi in a Metro East Conference matchup last Thursday, Sept. 21, and then traveled to River Falls, Wis., for a tournament on Saturday, Sept. 23. The Raiders went 0-4 in those four matches and are now 1-13 overall and 0-3 in conference.
Hastings fell at home 15-25, 14-25, 13-25 to the Mahtomedi Zephyrs. Despite the low scores, head coach Amy Johnson said that in some ways it was one of the best matches the Raiders have played so far.
"It was our best passing game so far as I'm looking at the stats here," she said. "We only had poor passing a very small percentage of the time and we had very few hitting errors, they were just a solid defensive team and were getting everything up. We were swinging, we were making them move, but when you're up against a team that's got solid passing on the other side of the net as well, you have to keep battling and keep battling, it's going to be long rallies and put the ball on the floor when you get a chance."
One of Hastings' major downfalls in the first two sets against the Zephyrs was getting off to slow starts and being down several points right away.
"We do all kinds of drills in practice where I put them in pressure situations and they have to perform, but it's never the same as a game, it's never the same and we get tight, become worried and we start withdrawing inward into ourselves instead of looking outward to our teammates," Johnson explained. "It's not just one girl, it's everybody. We just keep talking about the mental part of the game because physically things are getting better, physically we're getting to be a better team, we just need to mentally become a tougher team."
Johnson also said that where the team is at right now is a vast improvement to where they were at the beginning of the season.
"We are definitely moving in the right direction," she said. "If we had been playing like this from the start, our record would be a lot different right now, definitely."
River Falls Tournament
It was a tale of three matches at the River Falls Tournament. The Raiders started off on the right foot with two close sets against Altoona but lost 23-25, 20-25. Against Clayton they were not as competitive with the scores being 10-25, 20-25. They then ran into River Falls, who is ranked eighth in Wisconsin's top division. Hastings loss to the Wildcats 8-25, 4-25.
Hastings traveled to Simley on Tuesday, Sept. 26, and then to North St. Paul on Thursday, Sept. 28.