Danbury coach Marcy Raus is pleased with her team’s work ethic and will to win.
The Lakers rebounded to close with their most competitive game Monday but fell to St. Mary Central Catholic 25-14, 25-18, 25-21 in a non-conference matchup.
Danbury trailed 21-20 in the third game. The Lakers want to be conditioned so they can push late in matches.
“We just turned it on,” Megan Stephens said of improved play and communication to finish.
Danbury (1-1) lost only three times in the second half of the Toledo Area Athletic Conference schedule last season and hopes to build on the experience.
“We’re enthusiastic,” Raus said. “We have things to work on and tweak to get where we need to be this season. We have the potential to do well.”
The Panthers won one of their first three matches.
“We did a lot of things very well — we had good movement, we were swinging well,” SMCC coach Julie Simon said of Monday.
The Panthers’ passing also was strong.
“When we moved the ball away from their passes, they had more of a hard time,” Raus said while acknowledging it wasn’t a revelation.
Kelly Lavelle and Haley Minnear are new to the varsity setter’s role for the Lakers this season. Minnear had seven assists against SMCC.
“It’s hard to move from the speed of JV to the speed of varsity,” Raus said. “The communication is different. They’re getting it.”
Lauren Kalinoski has shifted from outside hitter at junior varsity last season to middle hitter. The trio seems to be acclimating itself well despite the lack of experience.
Kalinoski had four kills Monday.
“Team hustle,” Raus said. “We didn’t have one person hammer it. It was team hustle chasing down the ball. Everybody hit and played hard.”