Keith High School’s Shannon Crum rises above the net as she returns a serve by Linden in the Bears loss on Tuesday night. The Patriots won the match in straight sets, 25-9, 25-12 and 25-18. Keith’s next game is at John Essex on Thursday night, followed by a road trip to Akron next Tuesday.--Daniel Evans
Keith High School’s Shannon Crum rises above the net as she returns a serve by Linden in the Bears loss on Tuesday night. The Patriots won the match in straight sets, 25-9, 25-12 and 25-18. Keith’s next game is at John Essex on Thursday night, followed by a road trip to Akron next Tuesday.-- Daniel Evans

Linden sweeps Keith in three games

Published 9:48pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013

After playing one of their most complete volleyball games of the season in a win over Ellwood Christian Monday, the Keith Bears fell to Linden 25-9, 25-12 and 25-18 Tuesday night.

Though the first set was completely one-sided, Keith showed signs of life as the match progressed.

Linden eventually pulled away in the second set for a win that forced all of the pressure onto Keith. The final set started out with neither team able to gain an advantage.

But, with the game tied at 9-9, the Patriots started inching away. A 13-12 lead eventually swelled into a 19-14 advtange, with Keith unable to return many of the well-placed serves hit in the their direction. The Patriots continued pulling away and eventually closed the set on a nice run, winning 25-18 and ending the match.

Even with the loss, Keith head coach Martez Graham was able to find some positive takeaways from his team’s performance.

“They passed the ball well,” Graham said. “They did a good job at serving and keeping the ball in play.”

However, Graham said his team needs to continue working hard to get the kind of results they expect.

“They need to focus on the game and stop worrying about the crowd, because we are not getting 100 percent effort that we deserve — that the team needs from the girls,” Graham said.

He said on Monday his team was ready to play Ellwood, a county rival, but Tuesday his team had a letdown.

“They were excited to play Ellwood because they hadn’t played them before and beat them,” Graham said. “Today the girls’ minds weren’t on playing ball.”

This weekend the Bears participated in a tournament at Selma High School, before playing Ellwood and Linden in back to back days to start the week.

Still, Graham insists fatigue didn’t factor into the Bears loss as much mindset and attitude did.

“Attitude is going to stop us from being successful,” Graham said. “You can’t play this game with attitude. We don’t play with effort.”

Keith plays at John Essex on Thursday.

The Bears have four games left on the season, with the final game being Oct. 14 at Selma High.

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