EL DORADO — The McPherson High School volleyball team has now lost 11 of their past 15 matches, after dropping two Ark Valley Chisholm Trail Division III matches Tuesday night in El Dorado.

The Bullpups dropped a streaky match to El Dorado 10-25, 29-31, before falling to a motivated Augusta squad 24-26, 25-19, 23-25.

El Dorado is one of the surprise teams in the state, defeating No. 2 ranked Rose Hill last week. Rose Hill delivered McPherson one of their worst losses in recent memory back on Sept. 27; a 25-12, 25-2 beat down in front of a rambunctious Rose Hill crowd.

The Bullpups rebounded from the Rose Hill loss with a straight set win over Augusta later that day, but it was the Orioles who stole a win Tuesday night.

“We have to eliminate the silly or not so smart decisions during the rallies,” Head Coach Christy Doile said. “We give too many points away. We are our worst enemy.”

Doile said her team came out sluggish in the first set against El Dorado, resulting in the lopsided score.

In the second set, the Bullpups had a set point, but couldn’t close it out; something that has been a problem all season long.

Once again the Bullpups came out sluggish early, which Augusta took advantage of. The Bullpups nearly dug themselves out of the hole, but another close set went the other teams’ way.

The Bullpups responded with urgency in the second set, forcing the match to go the distance. McPherson was down by eight points in the third set at one point, and trailed 21-16 before a resurgence.

The Pups were able to tie it up at 23, before dropping the next two points, and the match.

McPherson started the season 12-2 and even won as many as 11 matches in a row. It’s no secret the Pups play one of the most challenging schedules for a Class 4A team, but losing their first two league matches at this time in the season is a bad sign.

Saturday provides the perfect opportunity to get back on track, as the Pups host their fist invitational of the season.

McPherson will take on Bishop Carroll, Salina South, Nickerson and Junction City in pool play, hoping to advance to the main draw afterwards.

The Bullpups are the No. 6 seed in their home invitational, but the draw really does seem to be wide open.

Garden Plains is the favorite, coming into the tournament with a 17-5 record. Nickerson (21-7), Bishop Carroll (14-8), and Goddard (15-9) are other teams to watch out for.

Contact Gallagher Martin by email at gmartin@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel.