Being at home wasn’t enough to help the Dodge City Conquistadors volleyball team pull off a win Wednesday night.
The Conquistadors played at home for the first time this season Wednesday, but fell in four sets to the Butler Grizzlies by scores 21-25, 27-25, 21-25 and 14-25.
It was the eighth loss in a row to start the season for the Conqs, who are 0-8 overall and 0-3 in Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference play.
The loss was hardly lopsided. Dodge City held leads at multiple points in each of the first three sets Wednesday, including 18-17 in set one and 19-18 in set three.
In set four, Butler closed the door almost immediately with a 6-1 run to open what became the final frame.
For the Conquistadors, the second-set victory was only their second time winning a set this season.
“Winning that set meant a lot because we work so hard in practice,” Conquistador freshman Destiny Velasquez said.
In that particular set, it meant a lot because of how the team came together from start to finish to win it.
Velasquez said she sees the chemistry as improving.
“I feel like the chemistry was there,” Velasquez said. “From pregame to the end, we were just there as a team talking to each other. We’ve gotten a lot better at doing that throughout the season.”
The win for the Grizzlies moved them to 7-4 this season, and 2-0 in conference.
“When we get after it and go big, it generally works out for us, and when we start to kind of tuck tail and play smaller or play into another team’s game, that’s when we start to struggle a little bit,” Conquistador head coach Rachel Williams said. “(We) just got to keep after it. Keep going big, keep trying to figure out how to hit around that double-block or pass a ball and keep us off the net or just kind of fine-tune the little things at this point.”
Right now, one area of emphasis for the team is its mental toughness, a priority for the team.
“I think we’re up when we’re up, we’re down when we’re down, and we’ve got to start creating our own energy a little bit, and that comes with being resilient and being tough and just taking the game into our hands,” Williams said. “It kind of goes back to the idea of going big, going fast and playing our game.”
The Conqs are next in action Sept. 7 when they head to Trinidad Colorado for the Trinidad Invitational.
For more photos from Wednesday night's match, check out our gallery by clicking here.