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The Melrose-Mindoro volleyball team came up short against Eleva-Strum and North Crawford last week.

The Lady Mustangs went into their Sept. 17 match against the Cardinals with high expectations but ultimately fell in three sets.

The team also came out strong against the Trojans Thursday but suffered a momentum loss to take another three-set loss.

“I know that as a team we have it in us to win,” said Mel-Min head coach Jamie Koss. “We need to get a match win under our belts so they know they can do it.

“All they have to do is believe and play volleyball like I see every day in practice.”

Mel-Min had split with Eleva-Strum in the Dairyland Conference invitational earlier this season, and Koss said the team knew they could come up with a victory.

However, the 25-13, 25-10, 25-15 loss was a case where the team “just didn’t show up to play,” she said.

“Our team was flat, and it didn’t even look like our team out there,” Koss said. “They tried and just couldn’t pull through. I could see frustration across the court and bench on Tuesday night. We were all frustrated.

“But now that we have that out of the way, we can only go up from here.”

Koss said the team channeled its frustration into a good start against North Crawford two days later, playing good defense.

The team came close to a set win in its 25-21 loss in the first frame but couldn’t capitalize on the Trojans’ mistakes and went on to lose the next two sets 25-10, 25-12.

“After Tuesday’s loss, we were ready to prove that we can win. We came out so strong in the first set against North Crawford. We were up and then we just lost the momentum,” Koss said. “The girls played hard. Our defense played really well. After the first set, they were ready to win the second.

“It’s like we score points and are on top, but then we just give it right back.”

Koss said Mel-Min is performing well on defense but needs to become more aggressive on the offensive side of the ball.

“I’m waiting for our offense to explode and do what I know they can do. I see it in practice, but then I don’t see it on the court,” she said. “We need to hit the ball and score points off of attacks.

“That is where we are going to get the fire to fuel our team and keep our energy high.”

Miranda Jones, Ashlee Hancock and Abby Aasen each had two kills, and Jones and Trissa Patterson added three assists apiece against Eleva-Strum.

Megan Murray and Aasen were 100 percent at the service line on the night.

Stats for the North Crawford match weren’t available.

Mel-Min was scheduled to host Lincoln Tuesday and travel to Alma Thursday.

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