STANTON — Central Montcalm’s volleyball team went 2-0-1 in the Daily News Invitational, and coach John Johnson was happy.
After Tuesday’s four-game loss to Ithaca, he wasn’t.
The Green Hornets gave the Yellowjackets their first win in five matches Tuesday night by scores of 25-18, 27-29, 25-22, 25-21.
“My thing is I haven’t seen my team play like this in a long time,” Johnson said. “They looked like six individuals and not as a team. We just got done talking about that. We’ll be better than what we showed (Tuesday night), that’s for sure. We played as a ‘me’ and not as a ‘we.’”
In the first game, Central (2-1-1) went down 6-0 early, but they got as close as 14-11 before a 6-0 Ithaca run put the Yellowjackets (1-4) ahead to stay.
“All night long we didn’t communicate, we let balls drop, we didn’t hustle, didn’t cover each other’s tail,” Johnson said. “When you have 12 dropped balls you’re not going to win many ball games.”
The Hornets came back to take the second game in extra points as it was close throughout.
Central led 19-14 before Ithaca came back to tie it at 23. Eventually, the Hornets won.
“I’m not sure if we played any better or they (Ithaca) played worse,” Johnson said. “We had a bad team tonight.”
Ithaca jumped out to leads of 6-0 and 14-6 before Central mounted a small comeback to get to 23-21. The Yellowjackets won that game.
Central and Ithaca battled to a 15-all tie before a 10-6 Ithaca run ended the match.
Hannah Hollenbeck led the Hornets with 11 kills. Mackenzie Rutz had three aces, Hailey Hollenbeck had eight assists and Jenna Switzer and Paiton Bartz had three digs each.
Central will get back into action after the Labor Day break, going to the Montabella Invitational Sept. 6.
In the meantime, Johnson said he has some work to do with his team.
“We’re going to go back to work (today) and work on being a team, work on communicating, work on some pressure situations. We showed the ability to do that but we let it get away from us (Tuesday night).”