|Sun, Sep 21, 2014 12:06 PM
|Issue of September 17, 2014
September 03, 2014 | 11:12 AM
South Central needed just three games to take care of rival Lanesville on the volleyball court last Tuesday.
The Lady Rebels, rolling to lopsided margins in games two and three, defeated visiting Lanesville 25-21, 25-12, 25-14.
"I am very excited about our group this year as we have depth on the bench and girls battling for positions on a daily basis," South Central coach Patty Shaffer said. "They are beginning to take shape and respond to the many things we have been working on for the last several weeks."
The most competitive set was the opener, but, once Lanesville reached 20 on the scoreboard, they flattened out. South Central went on to close it out before rolling in the next two.
South Central was led in the match by Jasmine Nalley with eight kills followed by five from freshman Ally Davis.
Nalley and fellow seniors Haley Shaffer and Breana Blackman are the lone upperclassmen. Providing a spark to the team has been newcomers Alexis Knear and Davis.
"Seniors Haley Shaffer and Jasmine Nalley offer much experience and power on the front row," coach Shaffer said. "Breana Blackman is developing as a great blocker. I expect her to become a key defensive player this year with her ability to play the net."
With a variety of attacking options — junior Issabelle Temple, sophomore Miranda Kiper and Shaffer had multiple kills — South Central's Knear was able to push the ball to the right places.
"Our ability to transition quickly and run our offense was key (against Lanesville)," Shaffer said. "Our freshman setter, Lexi Knear, was able to use all of her options when the passing was on point. She has developed very quickly in the role as setter. She is very quick and smart, which is a must in any setter."
Lanesville enters the season under first-year coach Pamela Cockerell Tobbe, a former player at Corydon Central and Indiana University Southeast.
"This is our third game, and it's going to take us a few matches to get there," Tobbe said. "The first game has been their habit, to start strong, then cap at 20. I told the girls they play harder in practice, intensity-wise, against our JV. We need to work on taking that on to the varsity floor."
Hired mid-summer, Tobbe said the coaching transition has gone well. The team worked in the offseason under the direction of a volunteer parent before Tobbe was brought on board.
"We started hard with conditioning and have been getting them to gel," Tobbe said. "They are a good team and do things well in practice, but the problem now is the mental part."
On the floor, Tobbe said she sees the talent within the Lady Eagles.
"Skill-wise, we are there; it's getting them confident to beating the teams," Tobbe said. "They have a bad habit of playing with teams. I coached club ball at Union and saw it there, too. They think playing back and forth is volleyball. I come from programs that attacked every ball."
At South Central, coming off a few struggling seasons in the win-loss column, a 2-2 start to the campaign is encouraging. Shaffer said the program also added volunteer assistant Kerry Freeberg.
"He has helped us improve offensively with his experience in attacking and blocking," she said.