The Crook County High School volleyball team is struggling early in the season.
After losing much of last year's team to either graduation or transfers, the Cowgirls are young and inexperienced.
Although they are showing moments of brilliance, they are still struggling with consistency.
That showed on Tuesday as the Cowgirls were swept 25-20, 25-16, 25-16 by the Summit Storm in non-conference action.
"They played really well in the first set and they were there the whole time," Crook County head coach Rosie Honl said of her team. "That's a good team. That's an old, experienced team, and we played well against them. These kids are still learning all of our rules, and in the heat of the moment, I think that they are forgetting some of those rules, but they are getting better every day."
The match looked like it was going to be a barn-burner early in the first set.
The two teams traded shots at each other as the Cowgirls looked sharp.
The two teams were tied multiple times in the set before the Storm was able to pull out to the five-point win.
After the close first-set loss, the Cowgirls seemed to lose some momentum.
Summit rolled out to a 12-5 lead in the second set before the Cowgirls finally rallied.
Crook County trailed by just three, 17-14, when the Storm finally called time out.
However, that was as close as the Cowgirls would get. Following the timeout, the Storm pulled away, scoring eight of the final 10 points of the set.
Set three was more of the same. The Cowgirls trailed from the beginning. Although they made a late run, the Storm still held on for the easy win.
The Cowgirls were led by Cassidy Dill, who finished with 10 kills, three aces and a block.
Madison Kussman and Raegan Wilkins each added five kills.
In addition to her three aces, Dill was 9-10 from the service line. Wilkins also served well, going 10-12 with four aces, while Anna Woodward was 7-8 with an ace and Kerigan Waibel was a perfect 8-8.
Woodward led the Cowgirls in assists with 12, while Mekynzie Wells finished with six digs.
For the Storm, Haley Smith had nine kills and four aces, while Jade Waskom and Ella Knowlton each added seven kills.
The Storm, who finished third at last year's Class 5A state tournament, have started the season with a 4-0 record.
Meanwhile, the Class 4A runner-up Cowgirls have begun the season with a 0-2 record.
The Cowgirls continued their difficult preseason on Thursday when they traveled to Bend again to take on the Class 5A defending state champion Bend Lava Bears.
The Cowgirls continue on the road next week as they begin the league season, playing at Estacada on Tuesday, Sept. 12, then on Thursday taking on the Corbett Cardinal.
Both games are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Crook County remains on the road on Saturday when they travel to Medford for the Rogue Valley Classic.