ELYRIA — Beating a couple of Division I powers like Elyria and Stow would have been challenging even if Buckeye had been whole.
Trying to do it minus Annie Bolton and Victoria Mesmer is far more difficult. It reduces the margin of error and, unfortunately, the Bucks made far too many of those.
Buckeye lost both matches Saturday at the Elyria Power Tri, falling to Elyria 25-16, 25-19, and Stow 25-19, 25-20.
“Every team has injuries,” first-year Buckeye coach Craig Peterson said. “We need a player to step up and be a leader. We haven’t jelled yet and we haven’t jelled all season.
“Against Stow, we had too many errors, and we don’t have a big hitter to overcome errors. If we make 10-11 errors, we don’t win.”
Buckeye (6-5) had just eight errors and one bad serve against Stow (10-2). The mistakes were more in the little things that don’t show up in the book.
“We’re losing because of our mistakes,” all-district setter Alexa Weiland said. “These are good teams. I won’t take anything away from them. We still have half a season left, so there’s a long way to go.”
“Our coach pointed out serve receiving to us,” libero Stephanie Stepanchak added. “The game starts with a good pass.”
The Bucks were outhit in both matches. Elyria (4-6) had a 31-14 advantage in kills while Stow had 31 kills to Buckeye’s 23.
The bright spots Saturday were two comebacks the Bucks staged in each match. They trailed Elyria 20-7 in Game 2, but cut the difference to 22-17 before falling. Stow ran off nine in a row in Game 2 to go ahead 15-6 before the Bucks managed to trim the margin to as little as three at 22-19.
Erin Lenaghan had 11 kills for the four games. Krystin Estes had 10 and Gabrielle Beck added five. Weiland was 100-for-100 setting with 30 assists. Lenaghan served three aces.
Stepanchak led Buckeye with 16 digs for the two matches. Estes had eight digs against Stow, while Casey Allen had three block kills.
Contact Steve Byrne at (440) 329-7135 or email@example.com.