The Stoughton volleyball team is searching for consistency after its 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21, 15-9 road loss to Badger South Conference rival Oregon on Thursday, Sept. 26.

The Vikings were plagued by 17 service errors and hitting miscues throughout the match.

Stoughton (10-25, 1-5 Badger South) overcame six service errors to win the fourth set.

“We got in those big ruts because of serve receive,” Vikings coach Rachael Gierhart said. “We just can’t bounce back after them. We need to have the mental strength to stay above and not hit those highs and lows in the game.”

The Panthers raced out to a 7-3 lead in the decisive fifth set, while the Vikings struggled with serve receive.

“In the fourth set, we did nothing but miss serves and we still won,” Gierhart said. “It was just the consistency through all of our skills in all five sets. Our big hitters felt the pressure of the fifth set and couldn’t put the ball away.”

Oregon jumped out to a 5-1 lead to start the match, but couldn’t maintain its advantage. A pair of service errors helped the Vikings take a 22-18 lead. Abby Lewis slammed a kill to cap the set.

“My middles were putting the ball way every time they touched it in the first four games,” Gierhart said. “We need to get them the ball more in serve receive and utilize them in free balls so we can get them the ball almost every time.”

The Panthers bounced back to win the next two sets. The Vikings had a service error at the end of the second, and Oregon’s Emma Swenson slammed a kill to end the third.

Stoughton senior Veronica Ewald had a team-high 10 kills. Fellow senior Kat Eugster delivered nine kills and four aces.

Junior setter Greta Nashold racked up 22 assists, while senior libero Aspen Alexander had nine digs for the Vikings. Lizzie Moe had a team-high six aces. Amber Hodkiewicz added two blocks.

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