When the Blue Springs South and Park Hill volleyball teams first met this season, the Jaguars won in two hard-fought sets.
Eight days later, Park Hill returned the favor. And Jaguars coach Mallori Perry knew exactly why.
“A lack of heart, a lack of want to drive,” Perry said after Park Hill dispatched the Jaguars 25-19, 25-15 Tuesday night at South. “A lack of a drive to want to be better. It feels like we’re just going through the motions.”
Perry didn’t feel that way in that previous Suburban Big Six match with the Trojans on Sept. 30. The Jaguars dominated the first set that night 25-9 and survived a 31-29 marathon for the match.
On Tuesday, Blue Springs South (9-16, 2-4 Big Six) trailed most of the first set and never contended in the second set. Afterward, Perry and the Jaguars spent nearly 30 minutes in the locker room engaged in a little soul searching.
“It was just more of letting them open up,” Perry said. “What was the deal? What was going on? And they were able to share what was on their hearts. Hopefully that makes us more team-focused.”
Blue Springs South senior Carsen Murray noticed that lack of energy, too. Murray, who led the Jaguars with seven kills, agreed that that was the big difference between the two Park Hill matches.
“We didn’t play as a team,” Murray said. “But sometimes you need energy in order to bring the fire.”
Park Hill (13-8-2, 5-2) kept Blue Springs South in check with its size at the net and power hitting from the outside. The Jaguars never caught the Trojans in the first set, and the second one wasn’t close after an 8-1 run put the Trojans up 14-5. Half of those points came on unforced Jaguar errors.
“I think some of it was just Park Hill playing really well,” Murray said. “They would put up a good block and sometimes we didn’t know how to hit around it and we would hit out of bounds. It wasn’t what we did wrong; it was just Park Hill doing its job.”
Added Perry: “I do think our kids worked really hard both sets. But when it comes to volleyball, you’ve got to take care of your job for your team to flourish and that didn’t happen for us.”