Owensboro High School had some early momentum in its volleyball match with Grayson County.
The Lady Devils lost that momentum, then had to battle to keep its match alive in the third set before falling 3-1 to Grayson County in the season-opener Monday night at the OHS gym.
The Lady Cougars prevailed 25-21, 29-31, 25-20, 25-13.
OHS had an 8-0 lead in the first set, then it struggled the rest of the way despite earning a tough 31-29 win in the second set.
"We've been talking energy, pushing energy in practices," OHS coach Melissa Hibbs said. "Our practices have been very high-level and intense. Having higher-intensity practices, we were ready to jump out."
Some inexperience in its rotations slowed OHS down in the latter stages of the first set.
"We got in a couple of rotations where we made some young mistakes and couldn't shake it off," Hibbs said. "They would make another mistake and we got in a rut."
Once OHS got back from a 23-18 deficit in the second set, it took a lot to shake out the set win.
A Grayson County serve went out, then a Chase Mather service ace closed it out for OHS.
"Bringing that energy back up (was a key)," Hibbs said of OHS's play in the second set. "The girls started talking a little more on the court. Volleyball is such a momentum sport, if we can keep that energy, we can play with anybody."
OHS got down 21-11 in the third set and couldn't get closer than four points the rest of the way. The Lady Devils had a lot of service-return errors in the fourth set, and they never could get closer than 18-13 on a Krystell Pappas kill.
"Our serve-receive was not where it needed to be at all," Hibbs said. "That was a major difference. If we had cleaned up our serve-receive, we would have been in it more."
Armanda Pappas and Krystell Pappas each had six kills for OHS. Krystell Pappas was active all over the court, as she also had nine assists, six aces and six digs.
Lainey Hayden had five kills. Hannah Ashley had five assists. Jersie Rhineburger had nine digs. Audretta Tyler had seven digs."
OHS lost its season-opener but has a chance to bounce back quickly with a match against McLean County on Tuesday in Calhoun.
"We're all a little frustrated, we didn't play to where we could be," Hibbs said. "We've got another game, we can learn from tonight and move on."