Source: The Corydon Democrat

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Lady Panthers' netters reach 20 wins

by Brian Smith

October 22, 2013

Twenty wins and momentum.

With the Class 3A Brownstown Central Sectional in front of them, the Corydon Central volleyball team picked up its 20th victory of the season last Tuesday at Clarksville. After a 5-5 start to the season, the Lady Panthers have been rolling since game 11, improving to 20-9.

It took only three sets to defeat the Lady Generals, 25-13, 25-21, 25-21.

"We are 20-9, so that speaks largely for what is going on in our program right now," Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said. "Not many volleyball teams in my 19 years have won 20 games in a season."

An impressive first game saw the Lady Panthers dominate play against Clarksville.

Even though Clarksville won the first two points, Corydon Central won 20 of the next 25 balls that went into play. Abigail Saulman started the run with a kill then saw teammate Reagan Mosley go on a tear. While on the front row, No. 10 accounted for three kills along with a tip over the Clarksville block into an open spot on the floor.

For the game, Mosley led the team with 16 kills.

Fellow power hitter Payton Windell didn't shy away from the action either. She contributed a pair of kills then teamed with Hayley Rennirt to stuff blocks back on the other side of the floor.

Leading game one by as many as 13 points, the Lady Panthers won comfortably.

Game two was primarily led by Corydon Central. A Windell ace followed by back-to-back Mosley winners landed the Lady Panthers an 18-14 edge.

Out of a time-out, Clarksville made a run of three points to get within one, but that's as close as it would get. Windell ended the match with a kill from the left side.

The third game wasn't the cleanest for the Lady Panthers. They would lead by five after a Cassidy Saulman ace at 16-11, but Clarksville fought back. Bri Brown threw in two Clarksville aces to cut the deficit to 16-15.

Clarksville would get within one point later in game three (21-20), but Corydon Central took advantage of multiple errors to pull away. On match point, Mosley sent down her 16th kill, giving the Lady Panthers win No. 20.

"We have played like this against improved teams, and Clarksville is an improved team," Briscoe said. "We had sloppy tipping going on. When we play aggressive volleyball, we're as good as anybody."

Windell reached double-digit kills with 10, along with three aces and blocks.

Briscoe said she hopes the challenging schedule during the regular season has the team set to succeed in the postseason.

"I told them that our schedule is set up where we get challenged. If I'm winning 65 percent of the games within the schedule I've created, that means we're being challenged and my team is growing," Briscoe said.

Among the fine-tuning the Lady Panthers will seek to do is assuring roles on the floor.

"We have kids in our program that are so close to accepting their role in their position," she said. "When that clicks, we might just peak come sectional time. It'll take a lot more adrenaline and aggressive play to make that happen."

Playing aggressive and serious through each point is an emphasis Briscoe will continue to point out.

"It's a great thing to have great swingers, but it's a whole lot better to have great defenders," Briscoe said. "That ball isn't always going down. For people to figure out how important the first ball in the game of volleyball is, is critical. That best serve you have and the best pass you can have is the whole chemistry of the game."

The Lady Panthers were unable to earn a share of the Mid-Southern Conference title last Wednesday. They welcomed Silver Creek, but the Lady Dragons came away with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-15 victory over the Lady Panthers.

With the win, Silver Creek won the Mid-Southern Conference title outright, going undefeated in league play.

Corydon Central opened Class 3A Brownstown Central Sectional play last night (Tuesday) when the Lady Panthers faced Scottsburg. If the Lady Panthers won, they will face the Madison/North Harrison winner Saturday at 11 a.m. The championship game is slated for 7 p.m. after the semi-finals.