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Positive showing emerges from Corydon Invite

Positive showing emerges from Corydon Invite
Positive showing emerges from Corydon Invite
Corydon Central's Jessica Giuffre smashes a kill over the block of a Evansville Reitz defender. The Lady Panthers went on to defeat Reitz in pool play and eventually finished second in the tournament. (Photos by Brian Smith)

Many positives were taken away from Saturday’s Corydon Invitational volleyball tournament Saturday. Area teams Corydon Central and North Harrison both went 3-1 in the eight-team field, with both losses to eventual winner Tell City.
Corydon Central (9-4) put together an impressive run through pool play. They swept all three matches without dropping a game. New Washington fell victim to the Lady Panthers in the opening game 25-18, 25-23.
Meade County (Ky.) provided a solid test in Corydon Central’s second contest. The host team rolled through the first game 25-16, but Meade County gave the Lady Panthers a run in the second. Down 24-23, consecutive points on a Pam Cockerell kill and Amanda Rothrock ace put the Lady Panthers ahead. After trading points, Corydon Central’s Jessica Guiffre finished Meade County off with a smash.
In the final game of pool play, Corydon Central took care of Evansville Reitz 25-18, 25-16 setting up a spot in the championship match.
The championship featured a match-up against Tell City, which also didn’t drop a game in its 3-0 run through pool play as well.
Tell City (12-4) defeated Corydon Central in a regular season game a year ago and dominated from the start Saturday. Lady Marksmen outside hitter Kara McClintic led the way in game one with an ace and five kills. Down 23-13, Corydon Central rallied to within 23-17 behind three winners from Meghan Bussabarger. The run was a little too late; Tell City took game one 25-18.
Game two was much of the same. Tell City busted out to an 8-1 lead, thanks to four winners from McClintic. Corydon Central began to play well in the latter third of the game, but again it was too late.
‘These kids are so young and phenomenally talented,’ said Corydon Central head coach Kim Briscoe. ‘I don’t think the mental maturity has caught up with their skill and athleticism.’
Briscoe said the Lady Panthers continue to struggle against more senior-laden teams. Tell City, made up of mostly juniors and seniors appeared more poised to win than the youthful Corydon Central squad.
‘I’m not unhappy with the day,’ Briscoe added. ‘This was a learning experience in a non-conference atmosphere. I want my girls to step up there with some personal pride and self-esteem and be proud to be playing as well as they can play.’
In the auxiliary gym, North Harrison head coach Wes Briscoe, son of the Corydon Central coach, tinkered with his lineup, looking for a solid group to play consistently on the floor. He may have found the combination after leaving the tournament with a third-place finish.
During pool play, the Lady Cats gave Tell City its closest match of the weekend, a 25-20, 25-20 battle.
Sandwiched around the Tell City loss, North Harrison took care of business against Austin (25-19, 25-22) and Rock Creek (25-20, 25-20).
The 2-1 record in pool play put North Harrison in position for a shot at third place. In the opening of game one against Meade County for that right, North Harrison started off slow. Despite trailing much of the first game, the Lady Cats rallied to tie the game at 20-20. Deanna Whittinghill came up with two key kills, lifting North Harrison to a 25-23 win.
‘I think originally we may have been a tad on the intimidated side because they do have some pretty tall girls,’ Wes Briscoe said. ‘We haven’t gone against many tall blockers, but they realized it could be done. We were a little stronger than what we thought, so we could hit through the block.’
The Lady Cats solved the problem in game two. Dashing out to a 10-2 advantage, North Harrison cruised to a third-place honor, winning the final game 25-19.
‘We were a little tired, having to play four matches in a row,’ Briscoe said. ‘The longest break we had was 20 minutes. Going from the gym with the air conditioning to in here is a big difference. We just had to find some way to find our focus, and we did that through our defense. It sparked my offense.’
Briscoe said this weekend could be an excellent confidence booster, because it moved the Lady Cats to the .500 mark with a 7-7 record.
‘We really wanted to be in the championship game today,’ he added. ‘There was a little slip up against Tell City. We played them in a real tough match, just didn’t have enough to get past them.’
Heading into the weekend, North Harrison’s Wynn Shroyer was second in the state in overall kills. She and the Lady Cats will look to continue their improved play against cross-county rival Lanesville at home tomorrow (Thursday) at 6 p.m.
Pool Play ‘ Corydon Central def. New Washington 25-18, 25-23; Corydon Central def. Meade County 25-16, 28-26; Corydon Central def. Evansville Reitz 25-18, 25-16; Meade County def. Evansville Reitz 25-14, 25-20; Meade County def. New Washington 25-20, 6-25, 26-24; New Washington def. Evansville Reitz 25-16, 22-25, 25-23; North Harrison def. Austin 25-19, 25-22; Tell City def. North Harrison 25-20, 25-20; Tell City def. Austin 25-7, 25-10; Tell City def. Rock Creek 25-15, 25-15; Austin def. Rock Creek 25-20, 25-20; North Harrison def. Rock Creek 25-20, 25-20
Championship ‘ Tell City def. Corydon Central 25-18, 25-20; third place ‘ North Harrison def. Meade County 25-23, 25-20; fifth place ‘ New Washington def. Austin 25-17, 25-21; seventh place ‘ Rock Creek def. Evansville Reitz 25-15, 23-25, 25-21
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