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Celebrating a winning point, Corydon Central's Payton Windell (5) is congratulated by teammate Hayley Rennirt during the match against North Harrison. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

3-0 Lady Panthers win own invite


NH-CC battle goes to 32-30 in finale


September 18, 2013 | 10:01 AM

In a competitive field, evident by four of the 14 total games played seeing teams finish with points in the teens, host Corydon Central came away with the team title Saturday after going 3-0 at the Corydon Central Invitational.

Corydon Central won the first match against New Washington 25-18, 25-22.

The second match of the day, against rival North Harrison, drew plenty of anxious moments. The Lady Panthers rolled in game one, 25-15, but saw a more determined North Harrison team rally in the second. The Lady Cats snagged game two, 25-22, forcing a third.

Both teams had leads through the midway stages of the contest but struggled to really pull away. In all, it took several rounds of extended play before Corydon Central won 32-30.

"That was thrilling," Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said. "Everybody got their money's worth."

Playing aggressively in the decisive game, Abigail Saulman, Reagan Mosley and Payton Windell combined for eight kills for Corydon Central's first eight points. Those smashes were matched by North Harrison's attack, with Kaylin Bright, Brittany Rudolph and Carlie Burson putting down winners.

Corydon Central was able to lead 16-11 when Mosley rolled a tip to an open spot on the floor.

Behind the attack of Burson, North Harrison erased the margin quickly with three kills, along with a Maddie Janes winner, to knot the match at 18.

Rolling along, the Lady Cats used a Jill Book ace and two more kills from Janes and one from Bright to go ahead 23-19.

Despite being two points from victory, North Harrison wasn't able to close the door. Corydon Central, behind the serves of Chelsea John, went on a five-point run, led by a Windell kill from the outside and four miscues by the Lady Cats.

Each team had three match-point opportunities as the game extended well past the 25-point goal. Needing to win by two, a hot run by Windell sealed the victory for Corydon Central. Windell closed with three straight winners, including reaching the 32-30 victory mark.

"I wish they could play with more adrenaline with a more consistent focus," Briscoe said. "It's obvious who two of the best swingers in the room were today and who had the best balance. I just want them to realize it. I might have to buy a video camera."

For the tournament (three games), Windell had 36 kills, 16 aces, 28 digs and three blocks. Mosley put up big numbers as well with 30 kills, 29 digs and six blocks.

"I don't know anybody that hits the ball harder than Payton Windell," Briscoe said. "When she's putting dents in the floor and our setter isn't giving her the ball back is something we'll work on."

Corydon Central closed the tournament with a two-game victory over Tell City. Both teams entered the finale having won two games. The Lady Panthers took game one 26-24 before winning the second more comfortably at 25-18.

"It's been a long time since we've been 10-5 at this point in the season," Briscoe said. "I just think we are going to keep getting better, I'm sure of it. We have a lot of things, like a lot of schools, quirky things about our lineup, we need to figure out. I think we have kids that really want to win. I don't think they all know just yet how hard you have to work to win all the time."

The coach credited all the teams in the tournament.

"Everybody played well," she added. "Not everyone played their best game all the time, but you saw a lot of teams pushing one another."

North Harrison bounced back after the Corydon Central loss to defeat New Washington 26-24, 25-20. The Lady Cats dropped the first match of the day in a tight one with Tell City 25-23, 25-27, 25-23.

Lady Cats coach Alexis Speer said the team needs to continue to work on floor communication and consistency.

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