HYDE — Taking over a program has its challenges, especially one that is still rebuilding.
But new Clearfield head coach Sandy Bailor has seen some good things from her team, especially on Thursday night despite losing to visiting Penns Valley in three sets.
The Lady Bison fell 25-8, 25-16 and 25-10.
“As you watch this game tonight, we did good things, then we can’t put it together to get the point,” said Bailor said. “We have had a long of long rallies, but we still aren’t getting that point and finishing what we need to do.
“Kudos to Penns Valley. They were all over the court. There weren’t many balls that dropped.”
Clearfield struggled out of the gate, as Penns Valley broke out to a 7-0 lead before the Lady Bison got a side out on a net violation.
The Lady Rams had several long service runs on the night with three players with 11 or more service points. Anna Butler led the way with 17, while Hailey Coursen had 12 and Kailen Winkelblech added 11.
All three had long runs in the first set, leading to the 25-8 victory.
Clearfield netted just three points off the serve — an ace from Morgan Cheek, a net violation and a ball that the Lady Rams just missed getting back over the net.
“We are working on our coverage,” Bailor said. “The last set the coverage was better, but we couldn’t get the play in. The first set, our passing was horrendous.
“We spent all practice yesterday doing serve-receive. I keep telling everybody that this is going to be baby steps. It’s not a lack of girls trying or not wanting to be on the court. It’s a new coaching system and a new coaching philosophy. We want to build a program that wants to win and not be satisfied with just playing the games.”
Clearfield took advantage of five Lady Ram service errors and three hitting errors in the second set to keep it much closer, but still couldn’t get that needed point during a long rally.
Penns Valley went on to win 25-16.
Another long service run by Butler allowed the Lady Rams to go on top 15-4.
Winkelblech closed it out with six straight points to end it 25-10.
Cheek and Adrian Rowles each had four service points on the night, while Lauren Ressler had two.
Paige Rhine added a kill and a block, while Rowles, Lauren Coleman and Olivia Bender also had one kill a piece.
“I’m fine with you losing if you go out and give 100 percent,” Bailor said. “These girls are doing that. But we need to keep working and building to get better.”
Clearfield is 0-3 overall and in the Mountain League. The Lady Bison host Curwensville on Monday.
In junior varsity action, Penns Valley was a winner in 25-18 and 25-23 sets to drop to 2-1 overall.