|Wed, Dec 18, 2013 09:57 PM
|Issue of December 11, 2013
September 26, 2012 | 10:02 AM
It may have seemed like doom and gloom for the purple and white midway through the fourth game against Christian Academy of Indiana last Tuesday in Lanesville.
Trailing 14-7 and down two games to one, Lanesville coach Brittney Gayhart called a time-out to rally her team. The motivation talk worked, as the Lady Eagles outscored CAI 18-6 with plenty of jubilation and celebration after each point was won late in the game.
After the 25-20 win in game five and behind a noisy crowd, the Lady Eagles carried the momentum to the fifth game, where they led from the start and eventually took the match, 15-11.
"That was a huge win for us," Gayhart said. "We lost in four to Perry Central the night before. I told the girls this could be a sectional championship game. We had to play like it was and, at the end, they did."
In game four, CAI's Krista and Rachel Boesing were tough to handle through the first 21 points. Krista strung three consecutive spikes at one point, while Rachel had two additional blocks to build a 15-7 edge.
Lanesville then got going. Robyn Schoen started with a kill that was followed by a handful of Lady Warrior miscues. Emma Bays eventually put in a Lanesville ace to crawl the team back to within three, 15-12.
After a CAI point, Brooklynn Keinsley had two of her winning kills sandwiched between a smash by Morgan Williams. Off a Lanesville serve, CAI was whistled for a lift, knotting the game at 16.
The lead finally went to the Lady Eagles, 20-19, on a CAI side out. Lanesville continued to surge, closing the game out with back-to-back kills from Morgan Williams that led to hugs among the six near the attack line.
"We dug ourselves a hole and I called the time-out at 14-7," Gayhart said. "I told the girls they were still in it, that they couldn't stop. From there, Robyn came out with a kill and everyone else stepped it up. We made the run, and it proved to the girls they could do it."
Game five, a race to 15 points, led off with Lanesville picking up a point on a CAI net violation. Schoen hammered two kills then rolled a tip over to an open spot to widen the Lanesville gap.
Keinsley provided another smash to put her team up 9-6. Hannah Conder got in on the action, contributing two kills then an ace to set up match point. On the finale, Schoen blocked a ball to the floor, completing the comeback.
"Finally, the seniors are showing they want to win, putting emotion into it. It showed they won't give up," Gayhart said.
Lanesville looked comfortable in game one, using three consecutive Williams aces to build an 18-12 advantage. With kills spread across the front line, Lanesville won the opener 25-19.
A 15-13 Lanesville lead in game two didn't survive CAI's strong middle. CAI outscored the Lady Eagles, 13-2, behind Krista Boesing's five kills and two blocks to win the game, 25-17.
Lanesville nearly pulled off another comeback in game three. When trailing 17-10, the Lady Eagles took six of the next seven points. The rally continued when a Schoen ace pulled Lanesville to within one, 21-20, forcing a CAI time-out. The Lady Warriors then closed out the game, 25-22, with two Krista Boesing kills and a Ezra Staggers ace.
"The first game, they came out and knew they didn't play as intense as they could but still won," Gayhart said. "I think that gave them hope to cruise through, but it wasn't that easy. I didn't see a moment where we gave up completely. We battled back all night in every set."
Gayhart said their focus was slowing the middle of CAI. In turn, the Lady Eagles were much the best in the serve-receive part of the battle late.
"The serve-receive, at times, was in our favor," she said. "I think that got into (CAI's) heads, but, more than that, our girls fed off that momentum. For us, momentum is so huge."
Lanesville and CAI figure to be one of the top contenders for the Class A Sectional title, which will be played on the Lady Warriors' home court in New Albany.
Two days later, Lanesville knocked off Southern Athletic Conference foe New Washington, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21 to improve to 2-0 in conference play.
The Lady Eagles will return to SAC action tonight (Wednesday) when they travel to Henryville. They also will play Saturday at Crothersville.