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Coach Tim Martin has preached the importance of consistency to his Muscatine volleyball team all season. Even so, the Muskies are now 27 matches into their season and continue to struggle in putting together consistent matches.

Monday's road contest at Davenport Central was another prime example, as Martin lamented his team's struggles with accurate passing as Muscatine fell 25-21, 25-15, 25-15.

"We had too many out of system passes forcing our setter to come out and play deeper to set the ball," Martin said. "We just struggled offensively."

However, some of those struggles can be traced back to the performance of Central junior Raina Smith, who Martin said had a big match. However, Martin still left Davenport Central searching for answers with just one match remaining before regionals.

"We did not perform like we should have and it definitely showed," Martin said. "When we get behind by five or more points it just seems like we try to keep the energy up but it doesn't happen.

"I cannot find that magic drill, statement, or rotation that will get us above and beyond this."

Senior Tessa Kerr led the Muskies (5-22, 3-5) with nine kills, and fellow senior Paige Miller added five kills and three aces. Junior Haley Jarett had 13 assists and senior Morgan Hogenson had 10 digs.

Muscatine will look to bounce back Thursday at Clinton.

"We have to be consistent," Martin said. "If we're consistent in every phase of the game we can stay close and might be able to surprise."

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