Craig Craig Middle School girls volleyball coach Becky Field summed up the play of her team when it hosted Hayden on Tuesday.
"It was an ugly game," she said. "We didn't play up to our abilities."
Despite the sloppy play, the Bulldogs eighth-grade team escaped with a 25-20, 18-25, 15-9 victory against the Tigers.
"We missed too many serves," Field said. "And we had way too many drops. The girls were tentative."
Field said rotating different players into the line-up was the key ingredient as to why her team struggled in the second game.
"In volleyball, it really means something to have the girls trust one another," she said. "I mixed the B team - seventh-graders - into the second game, and they were very hesitant to go after the ball."
Field put her A team - eighth-graders - back into the contest for the third and decisive game, enabling the Bulldogs to pull away and capture the match.
"I'm trying to find the best mixture of girls," Field said.
Heather Jenkins led the Bulldog attack, completing 19 of 20 service points.
"Heather has a hard and consistent serve," Field said. "When she's was on, she was scaring them to death.
"Without her play, I don't know if we could have won."
Field also said she was pleased with the play of eighth-grader Morgan Knob.
"Morgan is really improving," she said. "It's quite impressive to see. She's our setter. The setter is the quarterback of the team."
The Bulldogs host Meeker Saturday at 9 a.m.
CMS's most recent match against the Cowboys was in the playoffs last year when the Bulldogs lost in three games.
"They are an excellent, well-coached team," Field said. "They beat us in a close match last year to end our season. We're excited to play them, but it will be tough."