The Helias volleyball team was in a giving mood Thursday, and it almost resulted in them giving away a match.
But once the Lady Crusaders got more stingy and stopped giving away points, the Lebanon Lady Jackets no longer had a chance.
Helias rebounded from a 20-25 loss in the first game to take the next two 25-8, 25-13 to win the match at Rackers Fieldhouse.
Helias coach David Harris had a simple answer when asked the difference between the first game and the last two.
"Keeping the ball in play," he said.
The three-minute period between the first and second games was an instructive one.
"I did a quick look and I think we had 11 kills, but 12 hitting errors," Harris said. "Then we had two ballhandling errors and we were in the net once. So out of their 25 points, 15 of them were our errors."
The Lady Crusaders got the first two points of the opening game for their only lead.
"We got a block for the second point of the match and then after that, everything was going off our hands out-of-bounds," he said. "On outside hitters, it's easy for the blockers to turn and face the hitter instead of getting squared up to the net. So we talked about that a couple times between games and in timeouts."
After Lebanon raced out to a 17-10 lead, forcing Helias to take a timeout, the Lady Crusaders tried to crawl back into it. They pulled to within two points twice, but could never get over the hump.
Things turned quickly to start the second game, as Helias jumped ahead 8-2.
"We switched lineups a little bit and let Erica (Haslag) hit outside," Harris said. "She did very well hitting out there and provided a spark right off the bat in that second game. She got two kills and got us going."
The Lady Crusaders then won nine of the next 11 points to build the lead to 17-4. The final score was the largest lead for Helias in the second game.
"We went from 12 hitting errors in the first game to two in the second game and four in the third game," Harris said. "Any time you don't make the other team earn their points, it's tough.
"I think some of our hitters think if they hit it really hard, then it's worth five points instead of just one. I have to remind them that's not the case. ... It's just like playing baseball or softball. When you try to hit a home run, it's no good.
"We just remind them to be aggressive but under control. The points are going to come. I think some of it was it being the first home game and a little adrenaline and wanting to impress everybody."
The third game was tied three times in the early going before Helias got a sideout on a kill by Lindsey Griggs. The Lady Crusaders then ripped off seven straight points on the serve of Tori Keller to go up 12-4.
Helias led by 13 points twice in the game, including the final score, which came on an ace by Anna Murphy.
Murphy ended up with seven kills and five blocks for the Lady Crusaders (2-0), while Haslag had a team-high nine kills and Tory Wiley had eight kills.
Also for Helias, Blake Berhorst had 12 digs and Ashley Dudenhoeffer handed out 26 assists. Laura Schieber had 16 service points, including one ace, while Keller had two aces among her 13 service points.
The Lady Crusaders return to action Tuesday when they host Jefferson City. The freshman and JV matches are scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. in the Helias Gym and Rackers Fieldhouse, with the varsity match expected to start around 6:30 p.m. in Rackers Fieldhouse.
Helias also had to rally in the JV match, eventually claiming an 11-25, 25-8, 25-15 win.
Lexy Lamb had 19 service points, including nine aces, for the Lady Crusaders (2-0). Hannah Eynard led the way with seven kills, while Clarissa Fennessey had six digs.
In the freshman match, Helias posted a 25-15, 25-20 win.
Abby Shepard had five service points and 12 assists for Helias (2-0), Laura Vanderfeltz had 13 digs, Maddie Neuner added eight kills and Haley Kempker and Bailey Taggart added five service points each.