There is no room for error in the Duncanville Tournament of Champions.
Stephenville (2-3) - a young team with four sophomores on the roster - learned that the hard way Friday, winning just two of nine sets and dropping three of four matches in what has become known as the most prestigious preseason tournament in Texas.
The Bees opened with Keller Central and lost in two sets (matches were best two of three as opposed to the regular three of five), then bounced back with a 2-1 win against El Paso Americas. Their third and fourth matches were both straight-set losses to Kingwood and Lake Highlands.
"We faced some really good hitters and they ran quick offenses at us," Stephenville head coach Fran Metzger said. "I don't think our younger girls have ever faced hitting like that before. It was a learning experience."
Metzger, whose club opens the home portion of their schedule against Abilene Wylie Tuesday night, said she was pleased with her team despite the struggles.
"I was pleased with the girls. They are learning quite a bit," she said. "We would play with teams for a while and then one server would hurt us. We weren't getting aced a lot, we just couldn't get our passing going against them.
"When your out-sized against good teams you can't make mistakes," she continued. "We're still making a lot of mistakes because we have a lot of inexperience."
Metzger said senior middle blocker Kaylee Davis continued to shine up front.
"Kaylee played real well for us," she said. "She got her hands on a lot of balls."
Metzger has taken several teams to the Duncanville event, and says they are always better for playing in it.
"It's tough competition there," she said. "Our girls learned a lot there, we always do. When you learn from facing competition like that it always helps down the road."