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Bird’s ol’ stomping grounds not kind to South Central, Lanesville

Underneath the shadows of five jerseys worn by the legendary Larry Bird, South Central and Lanesville both got their wings clipped last Thursday evening at Springs Valley High School in the first round of the Class 1A volleyball sectional. The Lady Rebels saw their season come to a close, 6-15, 15-1, 15-5, to the Lady Bulldogs while Lanesville lost the battle of the birds to the Lady Blackhawks, 15-1, 15-4.
South kicked off the night with a quick 4-0 lead on Orleans powered by two kills from sophomore Rikki Abbott, a kill by Anja Nicolai and a block by Brooke Kingsley on hard-hitting Bulldog Anna McClintic.
The Lady Rebels (8-22, 2-4 Southern Athletic Conference) dropped a point when they were called for a lift, but bounced back to take a 9-1 advantage on an ace by Abbott and a kill by Hubert.
Lindsey Haag marked a pair of floor-denters as well for South, which raced off to a 15-6 win.
But as strong as the Rebels looked in game one, they played 180 degrees the other direction in game two.
The Bulldogs stormed out to a 12-0 lead before South was able to gain a sideout on an Abbott kill. A service error quickly gave service back to Orleans with Carmen Love extending the advantage to 13-0.
A service error and hitting error by Orleans gave South its only point, but an ace by McClintic and a South hitting mistake sealed the Lady Bulldogs’ victory, 15-1.
The Lady Rebels rallied from a 6-1 deficit in the third set to close to 6-4 on a dink by Shannon Bruner and back-to-back aces by Russel, but that’s as tight as the match would be the rest of the way. Orleans rolled past the Lady Rebels, 15-5.
“My gosh we were a totally difference team out there after that first game,” South coach Kathie Dawes said. “That’s volleyball and teenagers for you. It’s not a match by match thing. It’s not a game by game thing. It’s a point by point thing. You just never know which team will step out onto the floor each night.”
Dawes said her offense never got in gear after the first game victory.
“Orleans adjusted a little bit and we shifted a little in the wrong direction and that was the ball game. I think McClintic hurt us some but No. 9 (Carmen Love) just came out of nowhere and stuffed us at the net. She was really the one that hurt us tonight.”
Lanesville’s match was over almost as quickly as it had begun against Valley, a state finalist in 1999.
Janelle Ragains served up a pair of aces as her squad took a 5-0 lead. After trading sideouts, Heather Wilson knocked down four aces in a 9-0 spurt that ended when she served the ball into the net. A Lanesville service error and a Valley hitting error set up the Lady Eagles’ lone point in the match: three players watched the sphere hit the floor after a free-ball hit by Kimberly Ashley.
The Lady Blackhawks went on to capture game one, 15-1, on a Lanesville hitting error.
Lanesville (0-24, 0-6 S.A.C.) actually led Valley, 4-3, on a slew of mistakes by the host school, but the Lady Blackhawks flew back into it on several kills by Monica Foxx and Tessa Carnes to pull away in game two, 15-4.
“I’m really looking forward to next year,” first-year Lady Eagle coach Lindsay Davis explained. “Next year and the year after that we should be pretty decent. We only lose three players, return everyone else and have a nice 7th and 8th grade crop coming up.”