RIVERSIDE — The night for the Carroll Patriots boys high school volleyball team was summed up when junior John Brun balled up his fist and slammed the cushions underneath the backboard in the gym, moments after dropping the second set to their Greater Catholic League opponents, the Fenwick Falcons.
The Patriots, ranked No. 8 in the latest Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association state Division II poll, struggled through frustrating errors on the way to being swept in their home opener by a score of 25-21, 25-20, 25-17 and falling to 2-1 on the season.
Fenwick is currently ranked No. 3 in the same poll, despite a 2-2 overall record.
“A lot of what we talked about was not technique stuff, but mentality,” Carroll coach Tim O’Brien said. “We tend to get down on ourselves when we make mistakes, but we need to have short-term memory loss.”
The Patriots lost one of their seniors, Max Polanka, within the first few points of the first set with a high ankle sprain. That may have compounded their mistakes and caused some confusion with new rotations, as younger players got in for some play time.
“It put some young guys in a position to succeed or fail,” O’Brien said. “They were successful for a decent portion of the match, and I like how we fought, but we did struggle a bit in that third set.”
The Patriots would like to use that short-term memory when it comes to moving past this loss and preparing for their next game.
“We need to just figure out what went wrong on a play and learn from it, but then move on from it and adjust,” O’Brien said. “There will be situations where the guys will need to deal with adversity and dig themselves out of those holes, but I think our skill is at a point where we are going to be successful as long as our mentality is there.”
The Patriots will next play No. 9-ranked Cincinnati McNicholas at 7 p.m., Tuesday April 2, at home.
Joshua Woolverton is a student intern for Greene County News from Cedarville University.