Anticipation and optimism for the Parsons Vikings has morphed into bated breath.
The Vikings, hosting Pittsburg and Chanute on Tuesday night, lost both matches despite holding leads in all five sets Parsons played.
“We let emotions and energy get the best of us tonight,” Parsons head coach Brooke Hopper said. “It made us undisciplined. We didn’t do little things right. There’s a whole lot of things I could nitpick.”
The Vikings, which a week ago was in the midst of a hunt for an SEK League title, have now lost five of their last six matches and four straight in league play.
“After a couple of losses like that — it was still a good night of volleyball, but it’s not how we want to walk off our home court,” Hopper said.
In a 2-1 (19-25, 25-16, 25-22) loss to Pittsburg, Iniya Hinman paced the Vikings with 10 kills while Kierstyn Houk and Saylah Rea added five apiece.
Houk led with 12 digs while Briona Patterson racked up 28 assists.
As for the 2-0 (25-23, 26-24) lead to Chanute, Hinman amassed nine kills while Houk added four to go along with a team-high 16 digs.
Patterson had 14 assists in the loss.
Chanute had opened the year slowly with a young squad but has looked much-improved after a strong showing at its home tournament over the weekend.
“Chanute played well tonight and found some holes where we were slacking,” Hopper said. “You can’t take anything away from them. That being said, I felt like our effort was there and our chemistry was better. That’s something we struggled with earlier in the season.”
Parsons is now 9-17 overall on the season and 2-6 in league play.
After being in control of its own destiny towards a league title going into a triangular at Altamont a week ago, the Vikings have now lost its last four league matches.
“Consistency follows discipline,” Hopper said. “This year, I’m seeing how it feels to the girls after losses. Two years ago, they were used to losing. Fortunately, that’s shifted. But with that comes higher expectations from coaches. So consistency and discipline are at the top of our list to focus on after tonight.”
Now the priority for Parsons down the back third of the campaign will be finding its stride as the postseason approaches.
“The girls have made adjustments. We need to stay open to adjustments and the adversity that brings along with it,” Hopper said.
Parsons gets a week off before traveling to Independence for another set of league matches, where the Vikings will face Coffeyville and Independence.
“It’s about process over outcome,” Hopper said. “If we perfect our processes, the outcome will naturally happen.”