The final home game of the season for the Allen County volleyball team ended like the 33 games before it, as a loss.
The 0-34 Lady Devils did not have their shot at finally seeing the sun of a win after a long season clouded with injuries and setbacks. No, instead the No. 22 Fort Scott Greyhounds handed Allen its 65th, 66th and 67th straight set losses (25-10, 25-10, 25-12.)
Head coach Whitney Shaw has had more than her share of pitfalls this season. From a never-ending list of injuries that started in the offseason to player dismissals, the Lady Devils are no stranger to unfortunate circumstance.
At times it’s almost comical comparing the six or seven reserve players standing by the opponent’s bench compared to just two or three for Allen County.
However, one would think that suffering through a winless season in which you’ve won only three sets out of a possible 170 would start to affect your psyche no matter what uncontrollable factors have been thrown in your path.
However, Shaw and her team insist they haven’t let the season drag them down as they continue to plug ahead with two games left in the 2017 season.
“I can’t speak for the girls,” Shaw said. “We keep reiterating to them that they have opportunities left for us to do better and get a win. We try to build their confidence when they do things right and help them when they do things wrong. I don’t think that everyone is in the same headspace. I think there are some who are very confident and some that aren’t and that translates to the court.”
Shaw also mentioned that unlike at times earlier in the year, practices have been good and productive but it’s just not translating out on the volleyball court come game time.
“It’s something that we try to teach the girls,” Shaw said. “Not just confidence but extreme confidence. It’s something that we have as coaches. We don’t question the things that we’re teaching them.”
Freshman Bhana Gony and sophomore McKenzie Kueker led the offensively with five kills each while freshmen Dextiny Patrick and Holy Shinn each had three.
Errors continue to be one of the biggest things plaguing the Lady Devils as three of six scorers had negative hitting percentages.
Kueker and sophomore libero Samantha Gulley were honored before the match as the only two sophomores in the program after Shaw lost two returning starters to a transfer and injury during the offseason.
“They’re two completely different cats,” Shaw said with a smile. “They’re not similar at all. They’re great in their own ways and we definitely appreciated the time they’ve given us over the past two years. They’ve both been leaders on and off the court and they’ve been great character kids and I couldn’t say enough good things about them as people.”
As mentioned before, the Lady Devils have two more opportunities to leave the ranks of the winless. They play Labette on Monday before traveling to Cottey College (Mo.) on Wednesday to wrap up the year.
“We’re looking at our final two matches as opportunities to win a game,” Shaw said. “They are chances for us to do better.”
PHOTOS: Two Fort Scott players block freshman right-side Catherine Spencer’s attack during the Lady Devils 0-3 loss to the Greyhoumds on Wednesday. REGISTER/TIMOTHY EVERSON
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