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Lanesville lassos Lady Rebels, but injury dulls the moment

Lanesville’s volleyball improved its season record to 3-0 last night with a straight-set victory over rival South Central, 25-17, 25-20, 25-15.
The Lady Eagles’ triumph gave it the team’s first Southern Athletic Conference win of the year, but it came at quite a price: in the second game, senior powerhouse Maegan VanHoose landed awkwardly on her left ankle and was forced to the sidelines. She eventually left the arena and headed to a local hospital to have her ankle checked out.
‘She said she heard the ankle pop and I’m guessing she came down on Jessica’s (Schmelz) foot. That had to be what happened,’ Lanesville second-year coach D.J. Zipp said. ‘We just don’t know what the injury is at this point. It could be one of those things where she’s out three days or she could be out three months. We won’t know for sure until she gets it checked out.’
To that point, Lanesville was capably handling its adversary.
In the first game, the hosts jumped out to an 11-4 lead to bring on a South timeout. The move by first-year coach and former Lanesville teacher Patty Shaffer worked as her band of Lady Rebels clawed back to 14-8.
The Lady Eagles spurted out to a 17-9 lead and eventually the 25-17 win.
The second set was much tighter, with South scoring the first point and then the teams swapping sideouts.
Lanesville held a slim, 10-9 advantage when VanHoose punched a shot by South’s Valerie Burnette and Sarah Yelch. Just as the ball hit the floor, so did Lanesville’s hitter.
After a short delay, the Lady Rebels scored three straight points thanks to the service of Yelch.
Two more South points were put on the board before Zipp called a time out to settle his troops.
‘I told them to regroup, forget about what happened and play inspired volleyball. Do it for yourselves and do it for Maegan,’ Zipp said. ‘And I have to give it to (Schmelz). She put the team on her shoulders and led them. Her and Brittany Johnson stepped up their play. That’s what we need in a situation like that.’
Lanesville rattled off five unanswered points and retook the lead on a kill by Tabitha Wernert.
The feisty Lady Rebels never went away, but the hosts were able to pull out the five-point win.
The third and final stanza wasn’t nearly as close as the first two as reception errors took their toll on the visitors and Lanesville raced off with the victory.
‘South Central plays hard and we knew they weren’t going to go away,’ Zipp said.
Lanesville’s coach said with so much riding on the game ‘ a continuation of a perfect record, a potential conference championship and a mental edge heading into sectional play in October ‘ it was understandable why his team was a little sluggish at the start.
‘I thought we started slow, but we played better as the night went on. This was a good way for us to start as we head into a brutal part of our schedule,’ Zipp said.
The remainder of the August slate will probably result in a setback or two, but Zipp contends the ledger will only make his team better. Lanesville takes on Silver Creek on Thursday and then plays in the River Cities Invitational (against Floyd Central, Providence, Corydon Central and New Albany) on Saturday. Then, on Tuesday, the club takes on Corydon Central again on the road.
‘I think we can have a great season and it’s really all about getting things done. We’re better than last year. Our defense and passing has improved tremendously and it’s just a matter of putting it all together,’ Zipp said.
‘Our record may not show it, but after Saturday I think we’ll be a better team.’
South Central returns to action Friday at Crawford County.