The Mineral County High volleyball team was defeated in a trio of hard-fought games at Virginia City on Sept. 27. The loss against the in-conference rival drops the Serpents record to 5-2.

Unlike many of the squad’s previous matches, the Serpents served ably and energetically throughout the match, but didn’t communicate as well as it has in the past.

“The varsity team was surprised, I think, that they had a couple of attackers on the Virginia City side [… that] were very tall, very athletic, very aggressive team,” said Serpents’ assistant coach T.C. Knight. “They were able to attack the ball very well. We struggled against the attack most of the [afternoon].”

The Lady Muckers’ physical advantages told against the Serpents. An energetic and loud crowd also arrived to cheer on Virginia City.

The Lady Serpents dropped the first game, 25-11, and the next two 25-13.

“It almost seemed like we were a little cocky, and we didn’t work for it,” said senior Kelsey Viani-Wittwer.

Viani-Wittwer also said she thought the team’s play lacked energy.

“We’re working on a lot of out of the net drills,” she said. “Getting the ball off when it goes into the net. And defending, when people are spiking at us and things like that.”

In order to improve communication, the Lady Serpents’ coaching staff is taking two tactics — making the players run laps if they don’t communicate enough during a game; and having them play several scrimmages.

Knight said the team also runs drills where two or three girls play on each side of the net, forcing them to talk more, and be more proactive about their court coverage.

The junior varsity won its match, 2-1.

The Lady Serpents were originally scheduled to face off against Coleville High on Sept. 24, but the game was canceled because of a forecast windstorm.

Mineral County will next play Oct. 4, at home against Pyramid Lake High at 4 p.m.