OWOSSO — Hitting, receiving and passing errors plagued Owosso all night long Monday in a straight-set loss to Ortonville Brandon, 25-13, 25-14, 25-19.
Owosso’s mistakes were especially prevalent in Game 1, when the Trojans made 23 unforced errors.
“Lack of execution — there was a lot of stuff we’ve been working on that we didn’t do well,” Owosso coach Stephen Fitzpatrick said. “We didn’t pass well — especially early. I thought we passed better in the third set but we did none of that in the first two sets. They took advantage of us in a lot of ways — in the corners, serve receive, they served well on us. They just kept us off balance and we never got into our offense.
“It’s very difficult to win a set if you’re going to cause yourself that much agony.”
Senior McKenna Sovis led Owosso (5-7-2, 0-2 Flint Metro League) with seven kills and one block. Freshman Kendall Ihm added six kills, one block and six assists.
“We gave them too many points on our errors,” Sovis said.
Brandon, 2-0 in the Flint Metro, featured the play of senior Holly Oliver, with seven kills, and Katelynn Ceccacci, with six aces.
Owosso senior outside hitter Harper Newell said the Trojans are still finding their way defensively with serve receive and passing.
“There’s a lot of learning to do,” Newell said. “A lot to do. But tonight’s game doesn’t say anything about our team. We have a group of hard working girls and we’ll push through.”
Brandon head coach Taylor Leppek said aggressive serving paid off in the conference match.
“We had some strong serving — but it definitely dropped off a little bit in the third set,” Leppek said. “But other than that I was pretty proud. They bounced back a lot better and our talk improved throughout the game so that was good.”
Owosso took a 2-0 lead to start the first set as Sovis’ serves got Brandon off balance and Reyn Tuttle was able to drop down a tip shot. Brandon, however, went ahead 3-2 and never trailed again.
The Trojans tied the second set at 9 on Sovis’ kill after trailing 8-4. The Blackhawks then scored the next seven points and went on to win 25-14.
Brandon again got off to a good start in the third set, leading 6-3, but Owosso eventually tied it at 16 when Brandon had a hitting error. The Blackhawks pulled back ahead before Tuttle’s tip brought the Trojans to within 23-19, but that was as close as the Trojans got.
Fitzpatrick said there were some silver linings in the loss — namely the play of Sovis and Ihm.
“(Sovis has) been a steadying influence for us,” Fitzpatrick said of the senior. “(Ihm’s) a fantastic freshman and with her playing some setter, it has allowed us to move McKenna Sovis to the middle.”
BRANDON def. OWOSSO
25-13, 25-14, 25-19
Kills: Owosso — McKenna Sovis 7, Kendall Ihm 6. Brandon — Holly Oliver 7.
Assists: Owosso — Ihm 6.
Blocks: Owosso — Sovis 1.
Aces: Brandon — Katelynn Ceccacci 6.
Records: Owosso 0-2 Flint Metro, 5-7-2 overall. Brandon 2-0 Flint Metro.