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Cubs jump on NH early



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North Harrison outside hitter Maddie Janes celebrates after sending down a kill against Madison in the Class 3A Brownstown Central Sectional last Tuesday. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)
October 30, 2013 | 01:01 PM

North Harrison ran into Madison, one of the Hoosier Hills Conference juggernauts in the opening round of the Class 3A Brownstown Central volleyball sectional last Tuesday.

The Lady Cubs brought height at the front line, along with aggressive serving to end North Harrison's season with a 25-8, 25-22, 25-7 decision.

"They are a very good team and knew they'd be hard to beat; they've beat BNL (Bedford North Lawrence) and New Albany," North Harrison coach Alexis Speer said.

Opening the game, the Lady Cubs went on a tremendous run, scoring the first 10 points of the game. Winners came from different areas of the floor with Emily Holland, Katie Hartman and setter Whitney Wynn scoring winners along with taking advantage of Lady Cats miscues.

North Harrison finally got on the board when Maddie Janes put down a kill.

After her winner, Madison ripped off a seven-point run to take command with Delany Liter serving two aces.

North Harrison trailed 19-2, but started to catch up with Madison at the close of the opening game. Carlie Burson served an ace, while Bethany Wiley and Brittany Rudolph hammered winners.

During the final 12 points of game one, the match was played evenly with North Harrison winning six points.

During the evening play, Janes went for an attack attempt and caught teammate Burson in the face while swinging.

Burson played through the next several points, including landing a winning kill to start game two before having to sit out with concussion symptoms.

"We lost Carlie, but I thought the girls adjusted well when she went down," Speer said. "It says a lot about this team. The second game, I thought we adjusted well. All year we didn't adjust to change all that well, but we managed to play better in game two."

North Harrison took early leads with kills by Wiley and Janes. The last lead came at 5-4. Olivia Crozier, one of two 6-foot-plus players for Madison, knotted the game with a kill. Holland added several winners in game two as well.

Extending the Madison lead to 18-10 behind a Crozier winner ignited the best run of play for North Harrison. Rudolph got momentum going with a kill, followed by a pair of Madison errors.

Creeping within four points, 20-16, North Harrison kept the pressure up. Janes had a run of a solo block, a kill and an ace to cut Madison's lead to 21-19.

Out of a Madison time-out, Holland stopped the Lady Cats attack with a pair of blocks, leading to Madison closing game two with a 4-3 run.

Play in the final game was dominated by the Lady Cubs. Madison led 10-5 after North Harrison's Kaylin Bright put down a block. From there, Madison ripped off nine consecutive points. Macky Hecox's serve was tough to return, acing the Lady Cats four times during the spurt.

North Harrison scored two additional points, on a service error and a kill by Janes.

The Lady Cats graduate a trio of seniors: Kendall Frantz, Wiley and Janes.

"My three seniors, I can't be more proud of them," Speer said. "Maddie played awesome tonight. A tree could have stood in front of her and she was going to keep going. That's the kind of attitude we have to have. Even though there is a block there, we have to keep swinging at it."

Speer missed part of the year for the birth of her child, turning over coaching duties to junior varsity coach Caitlyn Janes.

"I was gone and hated that, but we are improving," Speer said. "We will keep going forward. We lose three seniors, but we bring back a good group of girls."

Twitter: @TheManiacHiker

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