Horndean continue to struggle in the National League division two south after a 3-1 defeat to Team Southampton.
Deans player-coach Nasser Ssemuwemba was alarmed at the way his side allowed free balls to land, especially due to a lack of communication between his players.
Southampton’s attackers also had a field day at the net, after the Deans disjointed blockers failed to put up any meaningful resistance.
Ssemuwemba is hoping that new Polish signing Samuel Sawicki will help solidify the blocks, while the return of Greek utility player and back-court specialist Adamantios Xanthoudidis will stabilise the Deans defence.
He said: ‘We were not far away in each set.
‘There were patches of brilliance but at times we lost concentration and gave away a lot of cheap points.
‘Overall, we lost the match by a difference of only six points.
‘If you cut out all the individual mistakes, then we would probably win the match.
‘Adam’s return instantly improved our first pass to the setter and I’m hoping the more games he plays the better we will be defensively.
‘I’ve made one new promising signing and I’ve now got three experienced players back to the squad. I’m sure they will give us the lift that we need.’
The Deans gambled on starting Ben Royer as the setter after a late fitness test following a leg injury suffered during their loss to City of Bristol.
Southampton won an even first set 25-22 and quickly took charge of the second.
This prompted the home side to replace a limping Royer with up-and-coming setter Matt Jackson.
The Deans looked rejuvenated but Southampton held on to take the second set 25-23.
Ssemuwemba then turned to Damian Roberts to assume the setting duties.
And the universal player led the Deans to a 25-21 third set triumph.
But in set four, Southampton hung on to hand their hosts a seventh-successive defeat of the term.
Man of the match for the Deans was Tyler Everitt.
He said: ‘I was pleased with my performance but I would rather have seen the team win three points instead.
‘We are getting senior players back and I think after a couple of games we should be able to win games again.’
Horndean host Exeter Storm at Priory School on Saturday (12.30pm).