South Kitsap Wolves take tough loss Wednesday at home to the Lions

PORT ORCHARD — Heading into Wednesday’s South Puget Sound League 4A volleyball match, South Kitsap coach CJ Scott was confident his Wolves would come out on top against Bellarmine Prep.

After a 3-0 loss, Scott was just as surprised as anyone.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said after watching South lose to the Lions 25-20-25-14, 25-16. “Laid an egg. They know they can play with them and I don’t know if they put too much pressure on themselves. I thought we were going to win all day today.”

South Kitsap’s Ashlyn Potz hits over the block of Bellarmine Prep’s Ramsey Slack (2) and Skyler Gillette during a South Puget Sound League 4A volleyball match Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Port Orchard. Bellarmine won 3-0. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

South’s problems started, and ended, with its inability to pass which affected all aspects of its game. A lack of passing gave free points to Bellarmine and limited the Wolves in their offensive attack.

Scott said the team practiced very well and even the afternoon at the game, he couldn’t help but smile at the thought of a win.

But that didn’t happen and Scott chalked it up to a lack of mental focus.

“Just being ready, following your seam, being confident and we struggled with that,” he said. 

All three games began with Bellarmine taking a six to-seven-point lead. A few errors by the Lions would put South closer and the Wolves would add to the short rallies with points of their own. A kill by South’s Talia Gamboa-Poole off a set by Jaeleen Aguero made it 22-16. The Wolves would get to 23-19 before a kill from Bellarmine’s Caitlin Burns made it set point in game one and was followed by an ace.

Sets two and three were nearly identical except South was unable to capitalize on Bellarmine errors like it did in the first. Bellarmine closed out the match on a 7-0 run in game three. South dropped to 0-2 in SPSL play (3-5 overall) while Bellarmine improved to 1-2 (5-3). 

South Kitsap’s Faith Smith, left, and Talia Gamboa-Poole go for a block against Bellarmine Prep’s Taylor Jackson during a South Puget Sound League 4A volleyball match Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Port Orchard. Bellarmine won 3-0. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“We can take a lot away from (the loss),” Scott said. “We can go back to the basics.”

Senior middle blocker Faith Smith said the hardest part of the loss was letting it slip away.

“I know that we’re all frustrated that we didn’t pull through,” she said. “I know that we’re a better team than what we (showed).”

Smith was able to share good news with her teammates this week. 

Smith gave her verbal commitment to play for Southwestern College, an NAIA school in Wichita, Kansas, next season. Southwestern plays in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Smith returned from her official visit last weekend and came away impressed with her future teammates, the coaching staff, the teachers and the campus.

South Kitsap senior Faith Smith goes for a block against Bellarmine Prep’s Caitlin Burns during a South Puget Sound League 4A volleyball match Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Port Orchard. Bellarmine won 3-0. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“It’s a small school so I really liked the atmosphere,” she said, adding at first she wasn’t sure if she wanted to move away. “At first I really wanted to stay here because I love my family, they’re like my best friends. Going there I realized there I can survive and I really did like it a lot.”

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