Playing without its top hitter Bloomfield faced an uphill struggle in Saturday's volleyball Round Robin at Guy Glover Gymnasium.
For the second straight outing the Lady Cardinals were shorthanded. Harlee Sullivan was unavailable due to a school function.
Minus Sullivan, Bloomfield dropped a three-setter to West Vigo in its first match. Clay City swept the Lady Cards in the day's final contest.
In the tournament lid-lifter, Bloomfield pushed the Lady Vikings to the brink. But the Lady Cardinals came up just short in the closely-contested match, 23-25, 25-22 and 16-18.
"That was a very hard-fought battle," Bloomfield coach Laura Rose said. "Overall we were pretty even teams. I honestly think we should have pulled that out."
During the first set, Felicity Graf recorded her 1,697th career assist setting a new Bloomfield school record.
"Felicity's a fabulous setter," her coach said. "She always knows what she wants to run, who she's going to. Excellent placement of the ball, hustles to everything."
Bloomfield came on strong in the last two sets, playing faster and more aggressively.
"I liked our intensity and our speed," Rose said.
"Our aggressiveness in the front row wasn't quite where we wanted it to be the first set. But I think we came through in the second set. We got more aggressive. Elizabeth Combs came through in the third set and was much more aggressive."
The Lady Cardinals picked up where they left off in the opening set against the Lady Eels.
Bloomfield trimmed a four-point deficit to one, 20-19. But Avalee Jeffers' kill and a Cardinal error gave Clay City a 25-21 win.
"We were a little sluggish in the first set but finally got things going," Lady Eels coach Garicke Rubin said. "And we played a lot better in the second set."
The Lady Cards started off slowly in set two falling behind 10-5 early. The Lady Eels expanded the margin to 16-9.
A block by Jeffers and a slam from Kyndall Boyll pushed the lead to double digits. And there it stayed as Clay City completed the sweep, 25-15.
"They've lost a lot from the team they've had the last few years," Rubin noted. "Plus they were missing one of their main players.
"I'm sure when we play them in conference it'll be different."
Despite the outcome Rose sees signs her team is headed in the right direction.
"Our communication has improved a lot," the coach said. "And I see the girls hustling more. So that's encouraging to me and their teammates."
Bloomfield returns to the court Monday. The Lady Cardinals host Cloverdale in a varsity-only contest.