DENISON — In a tightly contested volleyball contest, mistakes and little things matter.

It sure did for Atlantic Tuesday night against Denison-Schleswig.

After being dominated by the Monarchs’ front line in the first set, the Trojans made adjustments and took the second set. But those little bugaboos showed up — a missed pass, a dropped ball, a serve in the net — and those loomed large in an eventual four-set defeat.

“We made some adjustments after the first set and into the set that proved pretty beneficial for us,” said coach Michelle Blake after the 25-16, 16-25, 25-23, 25-18 verdict in favor of the Monarchs. “But just little mistakes ... . Ultimately, it was a game of not making adjustments when we needed to and just let our mistakes get to us and we lost a little bit of energy.”

Not to say the Trojans had their good moments. There were plenty of those.

Caroline Pellett had some good swings, while Alyssa Derby continued her strong play at the net, recording two of her kills in the fourth set. Kenzie Waters saw the floor well, said Blake, while libero Mia Trotter continued to do well digging the ball in the back row.

“I told the girls it’s a team effort. We win together and we lose together. We made mistakes together as a team but we also did things well as a team. We have to continue to work together as a team.”

But it was the front line for Denison-Schleswig — in particular, Allana Arkfeld and Hannah Neemann, both 6’0” and tough as nails at the net — that was among the difference makers.

“They have big blocks and see the floor really well,” said Blake. “We just have to make adjustments to that. We’re going to see big, tall girls the whole time.”

The Trojans (6-30, 1-7 Hawkeye Ten) will host a triangular meet to close out the regular season Tuesday, Oct. 15. Both Red Oak and Shenandoah come to town for a conference triple-header.

To reach Brian Rathjen, send correspondence to or phone (712) 243-2624.