GARDENDALE — The growing frustration was evident in Gardendale coach Lauren Morrison's voice.
"We don't play as a team. We don't know how for six people to work together as a team. We play as six individuals, and we're settling for second best," Morrison said.
Her comments came after visiting Clay-Chalkville handed the Rockets a 25-18, 25-12, 25-12 loss Thursday evening. It was the sixth loss in seven matches, four of them coming in the season-opening Briarwood Christian Serve-Off tournament two weekends ago.
The Rockets, who lost seven seniors from last years team and has only two this year, could never get any momentum going against the Cougars. The lack of experience, coupled with a lack of leadership, is giving Morrison a world of issues to work through.
"It's a rebuilding year, and that's all right, but at least they could fight," Morrison said. "They have the ability, they have the talent, but they don't have the teamwork. Until they figure out how to play as six players, it's not going to be a very successful season."
The Cougars were led by Kaitlyn Traywick with nine kills and 12 digs. Shannon Blanchard added 15 digs and three service aces. Carlie Millican served four aces, and setter Hannah Huguley made 20 assists.
Katy Belcher led the Rockets with six kills, six blocks and 11 digs. Kelsey Hallmark had 10 assists.
Gardendale's lone success came last week in an area match over Carver, which they won 3-0. They lost a 3-1 area decision last Thursday to Hewitt-Trussville. Those four sets are the only ones the Rockets have won so far this season.