SEMINOLE, Okla. — Seven matches into the season and the Labette Cardinals are still winless after losing in four sets to Seminole State 3-1 (25-27, 25-14, 25-14, 25-16) on Wednesday on the road.
“We have all the potential in the world right now,” Labette head coach Haley Miller said. “We dug ourselves a hole in the first set but came back and won it. But we just weren’t able to hold on to that energy and our gameplan long enough to put together the next three sets.”
Zhanisha Tounsel paced Labette with eight kills on the evening to go along with a solo block.
“She came in at opportune times and got some momentum for us,” Miller said. “She was doing her part as much as she could. It’s just hard when you only have one person trying to put the ball away.”
Freshman Alexis Kapales added seven kills for the Cardinals as well as six digs, while Lainee Gulledge had four kills.
Ania Howard led the Cardinals with 13 assists, while Hannah Casteel had a game-high 12 digs.
For Seminole State, Lariah Allen and Kathryn Smith had eight kills apiece, while Tiffany Maxey had 30 assists and Amanda Trevizo posted 10 digs.
“We struggled as a unit last night,” Miller said. “Collectively, nobody really stood out. We couldn’t put the ball down in the court. We had over 50 errors, so they didn’t have to even score half their points to beat us. We’re just beating ourselves.”
The loss dropped Labette’s record to 0-7 on the season. It was also the second time the Cardinals have lost to Seminole State, with the first coming in five sets at the season-opening Fort Scott Tournament.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” Miller said. “I’ve never experienced seven straight losses as a coach. I start taking it personally. Maybe I’m not doing what I need to do to adequately prepare my team for the matches at hand. But the girls have to come together and decide they want to compete.”
The Cardinals hit the road again for another tournament at Fort Scott on Friday and Saturday with matches scheduled against Ottawa JV, Southeast, reigning national champion Coffeyville and host Fort Scott.
“We’ve just got to focus on us at this point,” Miller said. “I don’t know if giving them a gameplan is too much right now. Maybe we need to dial it back and focus on us as a unit. We’ve already played a few of these teams. So the girls know what they need to do in order to compete.”