Lady Cats win in sweeping fashion
North Harrison used a comeback in game two and a quick start to the third game to upend visiting Mid-Southern Conference and county rival Corydon Central, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21, on Sept. 29.
The first game was largely a back-and-forth affair, followed by a Lady Cat rally in game two. That momentum carried North Harrison to a fast start in game three to provide the sweep.
In the opening game, the teams tied the score on eight different occasions. Corydon Central took the lead midway at 15-12, but four consecutive Lady Cat points, including one by way of an Angela Casabella kill, gave North Harrison the lead back at 16-15. The North Harrison lead never blossomed beyond two points from there in game one until game point. There, Casabella followed a Deidre Book block with a kill and a game one victory.
‘Out of game one, you thought we should have been at an all-time high because we struck first blow,’ North Harrison coach Wes Briscoe said. ‘We didn’t have that in game two, and we let them (Corydon Central) get out to a pretty sizable lead.’
Game two went the direction of the Lady Panthers to start. Jenna Keinsley came up with four winning points, three off kills and the other on a block, vaulting her team to an 11-5 lead.
North Harrison then used a time-out to fire up the team. The message was sent, and the Lady Cats began to grind their way back into the game. A Shawna Kopp ace kept Corydon Central in front, 17-11 at one point, but North Harrison began a four-point streak. North Harrison then often found themselves trading two points to Corydon Central’s one during the later stages.
‘We called time out and questioned where our heart was,’ Briscoe said. ‘We came back out and answered immediately.’
North Harrison eventually tied the game at 22 on a Lady Panther miscue. Corydon Central answered with a Keinsley kill, but North Harrison closed the match with two kills from Briann Kiesler. Briscoe said Kiesler was a game-time decision on playing due to suffering a neck injury.
‘Realistically, athletically, we are better than this team,’ Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said. ‘This team chemistry thing still hasn’t caught fire in our hearts. When that happens, then we are as good as anybody. It is hard to win on the road and that is a maturity thing.’
Game three was all North Harrison from the onset. The Lady Cat offense was clicking with Caitlyn Janes, Halle Jacobi and Casabella offering kills to vault North Harrison to a 12-5 lead.
Corydon Central made two runs, mostly at the offensive backing of Keinsley. Her kills cut the lead to two on two occasions, but the offense wasn’t there.
Casabella added two kills and an ace late in the match to seal the Lady Cat win.
‘Angela Casabella, who is 6-2 and a blocker, she played very well,’ Wes Briscoe said. ‘She was blocking and hitting and finding a lot of openings against a good (Corydon Central) block. The biggest thing with her was, I was impressed with her back-row defense.’
She finished with 12 kills for the Lady Cats. Janes added nine.
The match was also a family rivalry of sorts. On the Corydon Central bench was head coach Kim Briscoe and daughter Elaine Weaver. They opposed Wes Briscoe, son and brother, respectively.
‘A free meal again,’ Wes Briscoe joked after the game. ‘We talk about this all the time. I got up on her one game as far as me and her being head coaches.’
The two teams may meet again in sectional play.
‘He’s a good coach,’ Kim Briscoe said. ‘He’s learned from one of the best, and he coaches more than I do, at a level I used to coach, club ball. He does a nice job with his team.’
Keinsley led the Lady Panther offense with 17 kills.
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