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Lady Cats take down Madison in three games, then fall to SC

The North Harrison girls volleyball team got a win in the opening round of the North Harrison sectional, putting away the Madison Lady Cubs in three tight games.
It was the type of match Lady Cat Coach Wes Briscoe expected from a team who faces some of the toughest competition in the state.
‘I knew they were going to be a scrappy team because they have to be,’ Briscoe said. ‘I knew anything we did wasn’t going to intimidate them because they’re in the Hoosier Hills Conference. They’ve seen Columbus East, who was the conference champion. They’ve seen New Albany, who’s number six in the state. They’ve seen Floyd Central, who’s number eight in the state. We just tried to emphasize we had to push the entire match.’
North Harrison got the early advantage with a 6-1 lead in game one. Madison made a quick comeback as the Lady Cats committed three hitting errors and missed two serves. Kristen Mahoney tipped to tie the game at eight.
The game was tied twice more then Madison grabbed a three-point lead with three straight kills. Milburn killed twice for the Lady Cats closing the game to within one.
Madison then went through four straight errors allowing North to lead, 18-15. At that point the Lady Cubs rallied again to close within one, 19-18. The score was tied three more times until North Harrison finally got the win on two Madison errors, 25-23.
‘We looked a little quicker and were on our toes more tonight,’ Briscoe said. ‘A lot of that you contribute to talking. I thought they did a lot better job communicating than they did against Paoli. Anybody who would have come in here Tuesday night and watch Corydon and Providence play, you would have seen communicating. It’s something we’re building and we were a lot better tonight.’
Madison got the early edge in game two until the Lady Cats came back to tie the game at seven. Kalina Kasprzyka killed to put North Harrison in front then came a six point trading session, followed by a five-point run, the Lady Cats going in front 14-9, four of those points coming on offensive attacks.
The Lady Cubs got within two when North Harrison misfired on serve and Nicole Kocher slapped in a kill. From there, however, it was Kasprzyka and Milburn taking over with Milburn getting four kills and Kasprzyka two. The Lady Cats went on to win the game, 25-16.
One thing helping keep the first two games close were the six missed serves North Harrison had, those coming at timely situations for Madison.
Madison grabbed the big lead in game three with a 7-1 advantage. Heather Irish got two kills and a service ace for the Lady Cats, and Milburn added another kill to close the gap to three. Madison made three straight hitting errors allowing the game to tie at eight.
After service errors by each team Bree Shroyer aced to put the Lady Cats in front.
That didn’t last long as the game tied three more times. Irish delivered another kill to put the Lady Cats in front for good. North Harrison made a four-point run for a 16-12 advantage.
Late in the game Madison closed within two, 24-22, as Amber Smith and Mahoney delivered kills. The Lady Cubs made one final error, however, handing the match to North Harrison, 25-22, for the quarterfinal win.
Kasprzyka led the Lady Cats with 16 kills. Irish had a good night with 12 kills as did Milburn, who delivered 10 kills for the three games. North Harrison delivered 4 service aces but misfired on 7 service attempts. The Lady Cats finished with 23 errors.
Briscoe said Milburn had a good all-around match.
‘Cassie just played extremely well,’ he said. ‘She was all over it. She was very vocal. She was on the floor. She just came ready to play tonight. This was not going to be her last game.
‘We got Heather Irish, Kalina, and Cassie Milburn all on fire tonight. If a fourth one would step up I don’t know what we would be like. We moved Jenna (Schneider) around on two different spots. She hit on the left side tonight and did a pretty good job and when she was set the ball she did a pretty good job on the right.
‘We don’t have a right attacker on our offense, even if somebody is standing there. If we could get there and move the blockers we could cause more problems for the other team.’
Mahoney and Amber Smith led Madison with 8 kills each. Nicole Kocher had 6 kills and Paige Demaree finished with 4 kills. Madison got in only 2 service aces and missed 7 service attempts. The Lady Cubs had 22 errors.
The win set up a semi-final match against Silver Creek, who put away Salem 25-7, 25-11, 25-15. The Lady Dragons were led by Stephanie Steele who hit for 15 kills.
During the semi-final round Saturday morning, the Lady Dragons put away the Lady Cats in three games, 25-5, 25-26, and 25-20.
It took five games to do it but Silver Creek also pushed back sectional favorite Providence, coming back from two games down to win the sectional title 17-25, 22-25, 25-29, 25-17 and 15-10.
Silver Creek advances to the Jasper Regional.