The Dodge City Red Demons fell in straight sets to both opponents Tuesday in the team’s final triangular of the season.
The event took place in Great Bend, Kansas. The team lost to Great Bend by scores 18-25 and 9-25. They also lost to Hoisington 20-25 and 16-25.
The pair of loses moved the Red Demons to 8-26 overall ahead of Saturday’s Sub-State tournament.
“I think the girls are a little disappointed,” Red Demons head coach Amy Fleener said. “We just were flat. We didn’t take any energy with us.”
Against Great Bend, the Red Demons fell behind multiple points early but were able to dig in and made a match that looked like it would become a blowout into a fairly-competitive match Fleener said.
“A coach always thinks that they’re games that you should win, and I certainly think that about Hoisington and Great Bend,” Fleener said. “Both are matches we should have won, we just (are) not putting all the pieces together.”
The team, however, has been inconsistent this season. At times, they have played well, but never for an entire match, something Fleener said she’s been trying to figure out though constant study of film and data.
“Every match we’ve got three or four girls that are performing at a pretty high level, and then we have a couple that aren’t, but it’s not the same combination every match,” Fleener said. “I not quite sure how I get all six of them going on all-cylinders all the time.”
The team has even shown glimpses in some sets where they’ve reached what Fleener believes is their full potential. It’s just a question of if it’ll be this season or next year.
“I know all of the pieces are bound to come together at some time, I hope it’s this year and not next year,” Fleener said.
As the team prepares for Sub-State, Fleener said she sees the team most likely as facing Hutchinson, then Garden City based on how seedings are working out right now. The first match will be more than winnable.
“I expect us to beat Hutch, we played them at the beginning of the year in the preseason tournament, I’ve kind of followed them throughout the year,” Fleener said. “You know a coach always expects to win and with Hutch I fully expect to be able to beat them.”
Garden City, if Dodge City has to play them, could be a more challenging story. Garden City beat Dodge City twice this season, both by straight sets.
“We’re gonna need to play our very best to beat them,” Fleener said. “But at the very least I want us to compete with them.”
The Red Demons head to Wichita Northwest High School Saturday to play the Sub-State tournament. The action is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.