The Blair volleyball team went straight back into a huddle after Plattsmouth swept it 3-0 Thursday in the Bears' season opener.
Standing on the southwest corner of her home floor, coach Brandi Nicholson had some words of encouragement for her squad after the 25-10, 25-17, 25-13 defeat.
“(Plattsmouth's) big middle (blocker) kind of worked us over,” she said, recapping the message. “We know that we aren't going to be tall. So, I said we just have to play smarter.”
The coach expects more height disadvantages as the season goes on, so she wanted her Bears to know that they're going to continue to work on ways to eliminate that advantage.
On Thursday, though, the Blue Devils would not be denied. After Blair scored its first point of the season, its opposition scored a 14-7 lead. A two-handed Katie Frazer dunk over the net, and a Carley Damme kill, slowed Plattsmouth's progress, but not the end result of the opening set.
The Bears' Dani Thompson, Emma Cada, Madyson Ray and Ella Ross had some success scoring kills during the second set, but an early 6-0 run was all the Blue Devils needed to build a lead and keep it to the tune of a two-sets-to-none lead.
Later, Thompson's third-set ace gave BHS a 4-2 lead, but Plattsmouth outscored the Bears 23-9 the rest of the way for the sweep.
“We had girls coming in playing positions they've never played before,” Nicholson said. “We're just trying to feel things out, make things work.”
Morgan Potts and senior McKenna Schlueter were among the players who the coach noted as Bears stepping up, specifically. The latter, Schlueter, played setter with one her teammates unavailable with a minor injury.
“I said, 'Want to go in?' and she was like, 'OK. What do you want me to do?'” Nicholson said. “And she did fantastic. I was really impressed.”
And while the score wasn't necessarily flattering, the coach was pleased on more than one front.
“Our coverage was excellent tonight,” she said. “That's something we've been working on.”
But there's more to work for the Blair volleyball team to do. As of Tuesday, Nicholson believes the right attitude will get the Bears where they need to be.
“They just need to keep their heads up,” she said.