Entering the season, first-year Kenton Ridge volleyball coach Angie Arthur knew she had a team still searching for its identity. The Cougars graduated six seniors off last year’s Division II regional finalist so there were plenty of new faces.
“That’s one thing our team is trying to figure out, how to have more of a voice out there,” Arthur said. “Get more excited in what they’re doing. We have a lot of nice, quiet girls.”
But even Arthur had never seen the girls as quiet as they were during a bus ride home from Catholic Central on Saturday afternoon. After rallying to beat London in three sets, Kenton Ridge struggled in a two-set loss to Catholic Central. It was a drastic turnaround for KR at the tri-match considering London dropped Catholic Central in two sets.
It’s that loss, though, that might help the Cougars make some noise. On the ride back to school Arthur addressed her quiet team.
“It was kind of funny because the girls were talking about who was going to talk to me,” Arthur said. “The girls said when I get upset like I did it doesn’t help them too much. They were trying to recruit who was going to tell me that. My daughter was like, it’s not going to be me.
“About halfway home I told them (matches like that) are going to happen. You’re going to have to learn how to deal with loss. Just think about it (Saturday night) and let it go.”
Kenton Ridge responded with a three-set win against Northwestern on Tuesday, improving its record to 5-3 overall.
The Cougars have been in every match — well, excluding that loss to Catholic Central — including a pair of five-set losses to CBC powers Tecumseh and Shawnee.
Senior outside hitter Bailey Mounts, junior middle hitter Maddie Sanders, sophomore setter Peyton Fleming and freshman setter Lexee Trainer have stood out early among the nine varsity players.
“I’ve been quite impressed with them. I thought it’d be a little rougher,” Arthur said, adding even the losses to Shawnee and Tecumseh were confidence boosters. “That’s what I told the girls. Yeah, we lost those two matches but we get to play them again. The whole CBC had some equally talented teams.”
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