Rallies fall short as young Archers drop opener to McKendree JV

It didn’t take long into Wednesday evening’s season opening volleyball match to see that the 2015 Archers volleyball program is significantly different than the previous edition.

Returning after a one-year hiatus, and hosting games at the STLCC-Meramec campus for the first time since 2010, the Archers opened the Chris Arbini head coaching era Wednesday against McKendree University’s junior varsity.

While the Archers fell 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 in their season opener, the Archers battled back from large deficits throughout, placing them in a position to compete late in each game, and setting them up well for this weekend, when they travel to East Central College for four matches in two days.

“I saw some really encouraging things tonight,” Arbini said. “We played really well defensively, and that’s something we’ve worked on quite a bit in practice.”

Faced with an 18-11 deficit in the opening game, STLCC battled back to just a 22-21 deficit, before a pair of miscues, including a serve into the net for the game’s final point, ultimately sunk the Archers. The missteps may be a product of a nine-player roster that includes seven freshmen, though Arbini looks forward to seeing his young Archers make significant strides in the days ahead.

“Some of it is youth, and those things happen, but part of it is that McKendree is a great team, even at their junior varsity level. They have some juniors and seniors at this level, but we’ll see them again in a couple of weeks, and it may be a very different outcome.” 

The Archers return to action Friday, when they will square off against Prairie State College and Missouri Baptist University’s junior varsity.