Patterson volleyball has now lost three straight games in straight sets with Tuesday’s lost to El Capitan. The Tigers were searching for answers all game against a stifling league title contender.

“They [backrow defenders] were a little slow to react, we need to do a better job at reading the hitter. There was a lot of times where the right side would crank it to that angle [middle blockers would angle their blocking position] and the only other option the hitter would have been that deep tip and we weren’t able to pick up on that, and it ended up killing us throughout the entire game. We must be able to read the arm angles better,” said head coach Caleb Moore.

The Tigers came out flat in the first set as they struggled to find a rhythm and committed unforced errors leading to them losing the first set 25-16. El Capitan would expose the Tigers backrow defense using the deep tip from their hitters to dominate Patterson 25-6 in the second set. The Tigers didn’t go down easy as they showed some life in the third set by rallying to get within three points of El Capitan forcing them to call a timeout in the third set. Unfortunately for Patterson after the timeout an unforced error killed their momentum and the Gauchos regained control to end the third set 25-15, sweeping the Tigers in straight sets.

“I think we have really good chances against those teams as long as we come out and play like we did in the third set. The energy was down the in the prior sets but in the third they picked up their energy and we started to play much better, if we play the way we played in the final set of this game we have a good chance against the rest of the conference,” said Moore.

The Tigers will need to step up their level of play as they start the second round of conference games and conclude a tough three game road streak against Golden Valley tonight at 6 p.m. in Merced. The Coguars beat Patterson 3-1 in the conference opener on September 7.

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