NH knocks down Scottsburg, Corydon
North Harrison pushed its record over the .500 mark in volleyball last week as the Lady Cats hammered down on visiting Scottsburg in five games on Monday, then came back on Tuesday to put away Corydon Central in two Mid-Southern Conference matches.
‘I was really worried (after Scottsburg), since it was a long match, how we were going to come out,’ said North Harrison coach Wes Briscoe. ‘If we were still going to be focused and ready to go, because with five games, they’re going to be tired. They pressed from the very beginning. Had it gone four or five, I don’t know if we had been in trouble or not. We were so geared up to play. We were just really focused from the beginning of the match.’
North Harrison hammered its way to a 26-24 win over Scottsburg in game one, then somebody turned off the switch in game two as the Warriorettes jumped to an 8-1 lead. The Lady Cats spun in their tracks through that game, losing 25-17. The spinning continued early in game three until Caitlyn Janes slammed in three kills and Scottsburg made three errors. North Harrison closed its deficit to one, 16-15. From there, however, Scottsburg tightened up its laces and came back for a 25-19 win.
‘They came out and got that first victory, then I don’t know what happened in game two,’ Briscoe said. ‘I think we might have played a little relaxed. We made a whole lot of hitting errors in games two and three, and that was the difference in the game.’
It looked like Scottsburg was going to make things difficult in game four as well, as the Lady Cats led by just one point, 5-4, after three ties. Deanna Whittinghill put a kill down then Scottsburg made two errors. Wynn Shroyer aced on serve, and North Harrison had a 9-4 lead.
Tia Deaton got one of those back, but Whittinghill and Janes combined for a 6-1 Lady Cats run and a 15-6 lead. Scottsburg got no closer than five for the remainder of the game. North Harrison got the 25-17 win. Game five was no contest as the Lady Cats’ momentum picked up for a 15-3 game and match win.
‘We really needed that one,’ said Briscoe. ‘We were in a couple of matches last week with Jeffersonville and Silver Creek where we couldn’t play through any kind of adversity. We played well in spots, and we really needed a good match.’
‘I really didn’t expect us to rise as high as we did in games four and five,’ Briscoe said. ‘When we needed to, we really got the job done. Hopefully that’s going to motivate us to take care of business.’
Shroyer, who leads the state in service aces (75) and is third in the state in kills (314), added 17 more kills and four aces to her totals in the five-game run. Janes finished with 10 kills, and Whittinghill had nine kills and four aces. North Harrison missed nine serves but had 14 aces. Errors were a problem with 39.
‘We’ve got some good things going for us this year,’ Briscoe said. ‘Wynn’s had an all-state kind of year putting up huge numbers. We were talking about that in the classroom,’ he said, ‘and once they see what kind of season she’s actually having, I think that’s inspired a couple of them …’
Andrea Rademacher finished with 15 kills for Scottsburg. Janina Albrecht had nine kills, and Deaton had six kills. Kayla Shaw hit for four kills. Scottsburg also misfired on nine serves and had nine aces. The Warriorettes had 33 errors in the five games.
‘Scottsburg’s two middle hitters did a pretty good job, and they swung down and hit the ball hard,’ Briscoe said.
NH vs. Corydon
Briscoe knew he had a row of tough things to go up against in the Lady Cats’ Tuesday night match against Corydon. The first were Corydon’s big hitters, Meghan Bussabarger, Pam Cochrell and Jenna Keinsley. The last roadblock was Corydon’s coach Kim Briscoe, Wes Briscoe’s mother.
‘Corydon’s got two big strong middle blockers and then a girl that’s pretty decent on the outside,’ Wes Briscoe said.
If North Harrison was fatigued at all in game one, they didn’t show it as the Lady Cats flew out to a 10-3 lead. Corydon never gained any ground from North Harrison’s first burst, and the Lady Panthers fell by a 25-16 decision.
Corydon regrouped in game two to keep things much closer after North Harrison took an initial 5-1 lead. Bussabarger killed twice, and the Lady Cats made a series of errors as the Lady Panthers tied the game at 7-7. There were five more ties until an ace by Jolanna Stiles and kill by Bussabarger gave Corydon a 16-13 lead.
Following a time-out, Shroyer killed to start a 7-0 run. Corydon made three errors, then Megan Scharrer had two kills find their mark. Whittinghill killed for a point, and North Harrison’s lead was back to 20-16. The Lady Panthers later got back within one following two Lady Cats errors, but North Harrison prevailed in a 25-21 win.
It looked like Corydon was going to force a fourth game as a series of North Harrison mistakes allowed the Lady Panthers a 17-10 lead. It didn’t end that way, however.
Vicky Summers killed for the Lady Cats, then Corydon hit out. Shroyer also killed, and the Corydon lead was down to four. The Lady Panthers pushed back to lead by six but, like they did against Scottsburg, Janes and Whittinghill fired back with a vengeance, with the pair getting four kills each and Deidra Book adding a tip for good measure. Whittinghill got the final point on an ace of the 11-2 run as North Harrison celebrated a 25-22 win.
‘We went through a stretch there where we made about six errors in a row, hitting-wise, or not getting where we needed to be after the pass off the serve receive,’ Wes Briscoe said. ‘That would have buried us two weeks ago. Tonight, we really focused and got that next ball and we pushed back. We understand we’re only going to be able to get one point at a time, so you can’t put it in panic mode. We didn’t do that tonight. We stayed focused and worked it one point and got back in the game.’
‘We really rose to the occasion,’ he said. ‘We really put a lot of pressure on Corydon tonight, and we were able to get a lot of things going offensively because of their mistakes, and it was a really good win … ‘
‘We played about as bad as we could play,’ was Kim Briscoe’s only response to the night.
Shroyer led the Lady Cats again with 12 kills. Janes and Whittinghill had eight kills each, and Whittinghill added four aces to her total. Megan Scharrer came off the bench for four kills. The Lady Cats missed five serves but had nine aces. North Harrison finished with 22 errors.
‘(Janes) was awesome all night long,’ Wes Briscoe said. ‘I can’t say anything bad about any of the girls that stepped on the floor. Caitlyn had her best match in two years. She was focused; she was pumped the whole entire time. She was getting to a lot of balls. She got us some real big swings tonight. She got the ball on the floor, and she was able to handle their outside hitters there. Their hitters are pretty good, and she was able to get them to force their hitters to hit over the top of her. They were making a lot of errors because of her presence.’
Bussabarger led Corydon with nine kills, and Jessica Giuffre had six. Keinsley and Pam Cochrell had five kills each. Corydon missed six serves and had four aces. The Lady Panthers finished the night with 23 errors.
‘They were frustrated at the beginning of the season and not playing together,’ Wes Briscoe said of his team. ‘But now they’re starting to get some momentum, and I think we’re going to be more focused every time they step out onto the middle of the floor and (be) ready to take care of business here on out.’