MT. CARMEL, ILL. – To some, silence is golden.

But not on a volleyball court. And not in the middle of a game.

Princeton defeated Mt. Carmel, 3-0, in Big 8 Conference volleyball at the Hilltop on Tuesday night. Its what was not being said that was most disconcerting to Lady Aces coach Kelsey Beckerman.

“We were not ourselves tonight,” Beckerman said. “Skills-wise we were, but mentally and emotionally we weren’t in the game as we have been. Our communication was not where it has been.”

In a chatter-intensive sport such as volleyball, talk is what keeps a team “in sync,” as Beckerman termed it. Especially when things get rough, as they did for the Lady Aces after they grabbed early leads in all three games – notably in the opener, when the hosts were ahead, 12-5.

“I tell them during timeouts that the first thing that needs to stick around is communication,” Beckerman said. “If communication goes, everything else goes, because then we don’t know who’s getting this ball or that ball. Then we can’t even seem to send a free ball over when we’re not talking to each other and listening.”

Mt. Carmel fell to 5-7 with the loss, and 0-3 in league play. Princeton is now 11-9 and 2-3. The Lady Aces host Cisne on Thursday night.