LONGMONT — When not met, expectations can be deadly.
The playoff-hungry Mead Mavericks volleyball team was expecting another close match with two-time defending conference champion Windsor the second time through the Tri-Valley League schedule.
Playing the Wizards at home on Tuesday night, the Mavericks felt they were ready to make the push that would net them a win over one of the league’s top teams. Instead, the Mavericks fell 25-21, 25-20, 25-15 to suffer their first sweep of the season.
“We definitely didn’t bring energy to our court and we just didn’t work as a unit and it kind of burned us tonight,” senior captain Morgan Brim said. “We’ve seen that against big opponents. It shows us that we need to work harder in practice and come together more as team. We have to actually show up.”
The Mavericks have proven to be a tough team this season with an 11-4 record. But against Windsor and Roosevelt, the top two teams in their conference, they are 0-3.
Last season’s Tri-Valley runner-up, the Mavericks are currently in third, right on the heels of the Roosevelt Roughriders. Brim led the Mavericks with 19 assists and 12 digs but said the Mavericks never adjusted to the Wizards, who are the league front-runners again with a 10-1 conference record, and their middle attack in the promising rematch.
Though they entered Tuesday’s match looking to pick up a signature win, the loss left the Mavericks looking inward.
“Right now, we need to go into our practices harder than we have and we need to focus,” Brim said. “We need to work on getting things done. That’s the mentality that we have right now. This was a hard loss for us. We need to improve practices so we show up on the court.”
In the Mavericks’ first match against the Wizards, they won the first two games but couldn’t finish it out and lost 3-2. The second time around, the Wizards broke a 20-20 tie to win the back-and-forth Game 1 on a 5-1 run.
The Wizards pulled away and held onto a 22-14 lead in Game 2 and broke Game 3 open at 20-12 to win by 10 points.
“I felt like we played very emotionless,” Mavericks head coach Rachael Ayers said. “We didn’t capture moments of momentum. We sort of just gave it back. This is a huge momentum game and whenever you give it to a big opponent who wants to pretty much kick your butt, the result pretty much speaks for itself.”
Ayers said the Mavericks made errors on key serves and digs.
Junior middle hitter Maddie Uilk, who leads the team with 119 kills, led the Mavericks with 10 kills and senior outside hitter Allison Majerus had 6.
The Mavericks had swept their last three straight matches against Berthoud, Frederick and Skyline. Before that, back-to-back losses to the Wizards and Roughriders snapped a seven-game win streak.
The Mavericks will be back in Tri-Valley action Thursday at Erie (6-9, 3-7).
“We have some soul-searching to do as a team to figure out what we really want,” Ayers said. “We know what we want but we’re unwilling to do the things that we need to really get there when it comes to competition against big opponents. We’ll just hit the drawing board and start again.”
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Windsor 3, Mead 0
At Mead HS
Windsor (11-4, 7-4) 25 25 25
Mead (11-4, 10-1) 21 20 15
Kills — Windsor: Geist 15, Spykstra 7, Hurst 5, White 4, Gueke 4, Huston 2; Mead: Uilk 10, Majerus 6, Brim 5, Martinez 5.
Blocks — Windsor: Spykstra 2, Hurst 2, Geist; Mead: Uilk, Rayhill.
Assists — Windsor: Huston 31, Geist; Mead: Brim 19, Hedger 8.
Aces — Windsor: Garcia, Gueke, Geist; Mead: Klibbe 2, Majerus 2, Morton 2.
Digs — Windsor: Von Allman 16, Huston 8, Geist 7, Gueke 7, Glahn 6, Gueke 3, White, Hurst; Mead: Brim 12, Majerus 11, Klibbe 8, Hedger 5.