Tuscola volleyball opened up what will be an abbreviated season with its first regular season matchup on Tuesday night, falling in straight sets to North Henderson, 18-25, 22-25, 21-25.
It was Montana Moore’s first regular season match as the Mountaineers’ head coach, and while her team found more of a rhythm as the match progressed, errors proved costly against the visiting Knights.
“In the second and third set we were a little closer, but we just made some errors on our side that prevented us from executing the ball and we let them go on some long rallies when there were getting four or five points at a time and unfortunately we weren’t able to execute the ball like we should have,” said Moore on Wednesday morning.
Even so, Moore was pleased with her team’s improvement in several key areas from its scrimmage on Nov. 12 against Pisgah.
“We had worked on our communication, hustle, and effort going for the ball and I could see a big improvement from Thursday when we played Pisgah to yesterday, so I was happy with that at least,” she said.
Tuscola hosted Asheville High Thursday. The Mountaineers defeated the Cougars in both 2019 regular season matches, each time in straight sets.
Tuscola will have back-to-back away matches on Monday and Tuesday of next week. The Mountaineers will travel to Erwin on Nov. 23 and North Buncombe on Nov. 24. Moore feels good about where her team is, but still sees room for growth as team chemistry improves and everyone falls into their respective roles.
“We’re still kind of trying to find the perfect six starters to go out,” said Moore. “We are still trying to find the group that is going to be great for us. I don’t think we’ve quite found it yet, but the good news is that we get to play them a second time, so when we go back and play them again we will kind of know how their team works, who their great servers are, and will have a better idea of what we will need to do to beat them, to stay with them.”
Despite the loss, several players in particular stood out to the new coach.
“Grace Glance, she just did a great job getting some kills for us and blocking on defense,” said Moore. “She was always in the right spot and where she needed to be. She brings a good energy to the team, I think. Skyler Sutton, our libero, she got some good digs in, some good passes, and she did a great job as well.”