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Going for an attack, South Central's Haley Shaffer uses her left hand to hit a ball up the line against Rock Creek Academy. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Lady Rebs drop four gamer to Rock Creek


September 19, 2013 | 09:47 AM

Pulling out a win in game one wasn't enough momentum for the South Central volleyball team to put away visiting Rock Creek Academy on Thursday.

The visiting Lady Lions rallied to win game two, followed by a blowout in game three to eventually outlast the Lady Rebels 19-25, 25-21, 25-14, 25-21.

"They play skiddish at times," South Central coach Patty Shaffer said. "They need to know when to go for the kill and not just a kill on the floor, but to put a game away. If you have them down and need two, three points to win, dig down and put them away."

Game one was largely a back-and-forth affair through the first 20 points. Rock Creek gained a 14-12 advantage, but that quickly disappeared when Haley Shaffer came around to serve for South Central.

Jasmine Nalley put down a kill followed by a Shaffer ace to knot the game at 14. A Rock Creek side-out then another Nalley smash forced a Lady Lions timeout.

The break didn't rattle Shaffer, who went on to serve three straight aces. By the time she was finished at the service line, South Central led 20-14.

Both teams traded points late, with South Central winners coming off kills by Issabelle Temple, Nalley and Shaffer. The final from Shaffer came off the serve of Sabra Walker.

"We're a much better team when we play with intensity and don't play scared," Shaffer said. "The girls in the first game played well, but the second game we were playing too much defense late. They should enjoy attacking and getting into our offense."

South Central kicked off game two just like it finished the first. Walker threw in a kill and an ace, while Shaffer put a ball on the floor to give the Lady Rebels a 4-0 lead.

Rock Creek, however, fought back to win the next five points, led by a Susan McCoy solo block. The game was nip and tuck up until a 13-all tie. Catching the hot hand, South Central's Lela Board had two straight kills then a Lady Lions error to give South Central a 16-13 lead.

The lead stayed at three, 19-16, but then Rock Creek started to roll. The scrappy play by the Lady Lions led to them outscoring South Central, 9-2, down the stretch. A Katie Clapp ace and McCoy block ended the game.

Game three was Rock Creek from start to finish. The Lady Lions rolled to a 9-3 lead then saw it grow to 17-7. Marissa Weedin and Page had three kills each during the game.

In game four, Rock Creek carried game three over to lead 13-4 before seeing a push from the Lady Rebels.

With two Shaffer aces and a pair of Nalley kills, South Central chipped at the lead. Later in the game, Shaffer rolled a tip over the net to cut the lead to two, 18-16.

The margin would go to one at 19-18 after a Rock Creek side-out. A few points later, another Shaffer ace tied the game at 20, causing a stir in the crowd.

Rock Creek then went on the attack. Weedin and Page had consecutive winners. On match point, Kylie Tincher put one on the floor to end the game.

"We are making progress," Patty Shaffer said. "It seems like baby steps, but we have some winnable games coming up. Looking back over our record, several we've already had were winnable. The girls believe in themselves and, when they take the extra steps to pull out a win, I think we'll get going. If we get a couple under our belts, it could feed some confidence."

Shaffer said she was encouraged by the back-line play of Nalley and Temple.

"All in all, I thought our back row played well with Jasmine diving after a lot of balls," she said. "Between her and Issabelle Temple, if they are on the back row, they'll go after any ball. The passing fell apart in the fourth game because, I think, they were getting a little tired."

Shaffer said she is pleased with the improvement of the team thus far.

"They are having a lot more fun," she added, "which, in turn, means they play a whole lot better."

South Central will play Friday at Crothersville at 7 p.m. The Lady Rebels will return home Tuesday to play Henryville at 7 p.m. in a cancer benefit game.

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