Attica hosted North Vermillion in volleyball on Monday night and fell to the Falcons 3-0 in a contest that either team could have won with a point or two going one way or another.
It was the fourth game for the Red Ramblers and the second for North Vermillion, but it is already apparent that the two squads have improved in some areas over where they were last year, but it was also obvious that it was an early season game as there were some rough edges to the play.
Game one saw the Falcons open a quick 8-3 lead to force Attica head coach Courtney Reinken into a timeout.
It helped the Ramblers regain the serve, but the visitors continued to pull away, leading 14-7 and 20-11 on the way to a 25-15 win.
That was the only “easy” game of the night as the next ones were back and forth with neither team able to make a big run to take control.
Attica was up early 4-3, but the Falcons tied it a 7-all before taking the lead at 13-11.
The Red Ramblers responded to tie things again at 17-all and then went up 21-18 forcing North Vermillion head coach Hilary Gibson into her first timeout of the night.
Her squad ran off three points in a row to lead 21-20 and force an Attica timeout, but then the early season miscues showed up as each squad had a service error in back-to-back possessions.
The Falcons went on to win 25-22 despite another Rambler timeout that temporarily broke the visitor’s mini-run at the end of the game.
“I thought we were more alive out there today and got into a rhythm that we couldn’t do against Southmont in our first game,” Gibson said. “We hustled out there and got things going our way.”
The third game started out 6-1 in favor of the Falcons, which forced a timeout, but this time the break did not help the Ramblers and they had to call another one when trailing 12-5.
This second huddle seemed to help as Attica went on a 9-3 run to pull within one at 15-14 and cause the visitors to call a timeout.
Another Rambler service error helped the Falcons pull ahead 21-16, but the hosts responded to pull within two at 23-21 and get Gibson to take her final timeout.
With both teams out of timeouts, it was up to the players to take control on their own and each squad managed to force a one-serve turnover for a 24-22 score before North Vermillion got the final point to win 25-22 and take the contest three games to none.
Gibson gave credit to the team as a whole for their hard work, but did single out two players saying that “Jade [Grubbs] and Tycee [Crabtree] showed excellent leadership” on the night.
For Reinken, the contest showed all the improvements her team had made since last season.
“We are running more of an offense, our serve receive is more consistent and we have a positive mentality,” she explained. “It’s all starting to click.”
For an Attica fan, the most obvious difference was on defense where Reinken said, “The girls are moving quicker and know where they need to be.”
She summarized the play of her team by saying, “There are still some changes that we need to make but overall [I am] extremely happy with where we are at right now. This team is young. They are resilient and they can only improve from here.”