That seemed to be part of the problem for the Xavier Saints Tuesday night when they lost to Kennedy, 23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-19, in a battle of Mississippi Valley Conference heavyweights at Xavier.
The Saints gave away too many points at critical parts in the match with service errors when they either hit the ball out-of-bounds or slammed the ball into the net. All the Cougars had to do was stand there and see another point posted on their side of the scoreboard.
And at the same time, the Saints had a few problems when they tried to return Kennedy's tough serves.
"I think our service pressure and our serve receive were probably not at the level it needs to be," said Xavier Coach Austin Filer. "We put a lot of emphasis into our defense, and I thought our defense was better and I thought we did a lot of nice things there.
"But the ability to serve receive is probably the highest skill and the most important skill, and we didn't do as good a job tonight as Kennedy did.
"It always kind of stinks when it's crunch time and you're scoring and all of a sudden you hit one out-of-bounds or into the net and it's tough," said Filer. "It's part of playing sports."
The Saints, who are ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, fell to 26-7 for the campaign. The Saints began the year with 18 straight wins, but they have posted a modest 8-7 record in their last 15 matches against stiff competition.