Corydon overcomes slow start, tops rival
Corydon Central needed a surge late in the first game to avoid an upset from county-rival Lanesville in volleyball on Sept. 2.
Last season, the Lady Eagles sprung an upset on eventual sectional champion Corydon Central. This season, Lanesville made its run early, but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Panthers won 25-15, 25-21, 25-15.
‘Coming into the game, I think our girls remembered last year’s lost to Lanesville,’ said Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe. ‘They didn’t come to play (then) and they beat us on our home court.’
Early in the first game, Lanesville appeared destined for another shocker. Kelly Zollman delivered a pair of early kills and an ace, along with an Erin Dorgay ace to build a 10-2 edge.
Down by eight, Jessica Giuffre ignited the rather silent Corydon Central offense. The block started a 23-5 run to end the first game. A Pam Cockerell block and consecutive Jenna Keinsley kills from the left side drew Corydon Central even at 11-11. Lanesville then struggled to keep the ball in play. Cockerell ended the run with an ace, giving the Lady Panthers the first game.
‘Serving is a key with us,’ said Lanesville coach Summers Montgomery. ‘When we started out, when we were going well, our servers served well and our hitters hit well, and we got some confidence going. At the end of the first and the second game, it was missed serve after missed serve.’
The second game started sloppy on both ends of the court. Five of the first 10 points were determined by service errors. The errors, combined with a block and later kill from Meghan Bussabarger, pushed the Lady Panthers out early. Corydon led throughout the second game, pushing its lead from one point to six at 15-9.
Lanesville’s gritty effort showed when it went on a run, winning 6-of-8 points to tie the game at 18-18. After trading points, a pair of Lady Eagle spike attempts sailed wide, and Keinsley slammed two winners home, giving Corydon Central the game.
In the third game, Bussabarger took over on the front line. She contributed four early kills and one block to give the Lady Panthers an early lead they would keep.
‘We have to play consistent volleyball and relax,’ said Briscoe. ‘It’s obvious our team was more athletic than Lanesville, but their kids do a really nice job being scrappy after the ball.’
Briscoe added that she likes the depth the Lady Panthers have developed, saying this is one of the strongest hitters the school has seen.
Lanesville was able to hang early but couldn’t keep up with their rivals. They are also trying to adjust after losing Shelby Fonda to a knee injury.
‘I think it helps that it is the Corydon rivalry,’ Montgomery said. ‘We are stressing playing to the best of our ability and giving our best effort. We have been saying that even when you face a team better than you skill-wise, if you do the things you are good at, you are going to make them earn it.’
Montgomery said Fonda is expected to be out another couple of weeks before a re-evaluation is made.
Facing a tall front-line, Lanesville was able to avoid the Lady Panthers’ block most of the night, something Montgomery liked to see.
‘Those are things we can keep working on, talking to our hitters and our hitter being able to see the block,’ she said. ‘Hopefully my younger girls are going to catch on to seeing where to hit the ball.’
She added that her team did see the ball better, hustling to get a hand on balls over the net.
This week, Lanesville will travel to Paoli tomorrow (Thursday) for a 6:30 p.m. match. Corydon Central will play at Crawford County tomorrow at 6 p.m. The Lady Panthers will also host the Corydon Central Invitational on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. The 8-team invitational includes Corydon Central, Evansville Reitz, Tell City, New Washington, Austin, North Harrison, Rock Creek and Meade County (Ky.).
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