Lander suffers lost weekendOct 1, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
When you're already struggling through a difficult season, the last thing a team needs is to be missing some of its best players.
However, that was the conundrum facing Lander head coach Marissa Powell on Friday and Saturday, as the Lady Tigers headed north for dates with Cody and Powell.
Abby Renner missed both matches and Connor LeBeau was out of the lineup on Saturday against Cody for personal reasons.
Needless to say, the Tigers suffered in the absence of their two best players, losing to Powell on Friday, 3-0 (26-24, 25-15, 25-9), then dropped a straight-sets decision to Cody on Saturday, 3-0 (25-11, 25-10, 25-10).
According to Powell, the match against the Lady Panthers was encouraging, especially after losing a close opening set.
"We did awesome on our blocking," said Powell. "But, we still struggled with our passing and serve-receive."
In fact, receiving serves was where her squad missed Renner the most, said Powell.
"It was our worst serve-receive of the season," she said. "Connor and Abby are the best at it for us."
On Saturday, Lander faced the Fillies of Cody and the results weren't pretty, said Powell.
"All around, it was really rough," she said. "We were without our two strongest players and it was like the girls came out like they had already lost before the match even began."
Powell also attributed the Lady Tigers' struggles to the unfamiliarity which was presented to the players, some of whom were playing different positions alongside different teammates.
"In that situation, the biggest thing is they have to talk to one another out there and help each other, which they weren't," said Powell. "So, at one point, we called a timeout and it worked for one point, then it was right back to how it was before."
For Powell, the performance was unacceptable, she said.
"We didn't show much heart today," said Powell. "It was all about our effort and mindset, which we talked about after the match."
Lander (1-20, 0-3 Class 3-A Northwest) will travel to Mountain View next weekend for conference duals.