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Lady Panthers fall in 5

Lady Panthers fall in 5
Lady Panthers fall in 5
Corydon Central senior Shawna Kopp passes a ball foward against Eastern (Pekin) Thursday. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Wins will come with experience.
The Corydon Central volleyball team wrapped up the first week of play Thursday, dropping a five-game match to visiting Mid-Southern Conference foe Eastern (Pekin), 25-19, 20-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-12.
The Lady Panthers entered the fall season with a mix of veterans and several fresh faces. Against Eastern, Corydon Central was unable to carry the momentum of a lopsided fourth-game win into the fifth.
‘As we become more seasoned, we become more consistent,’ said Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe. ‘We can play; we just can’t play consistent yet. I’m excited about this year. These girls have a lot to learn through playing the game.’
Midway through game four, Eastern forged ahead, 14-12, on a Krista Roberts spike. From that point in game four, the Lady Panthers began to roll. Backed by aggressive play, the Lady Panthers outscored Eastern 13-4 to close out the game. Winning blocks from freshman Reagan Mosley and sophomore Catherine Day were key to the spurt. Senior Kate Armstrong hammered home a kill, as well.
To end the set, Roberts miss-hit a swing attempt, allowing the Lady Panthers to force game five.
In the decisive, quick game to 15, both teams rallied back and forth until Corydon Central sophomore Justice Avery scored a winning block and the tide turned.
Combined with two Corydon Central errors and a Nikki Nale ace that lipped the net, Eastern pulled ahead, 9-6. Out of a time out, Corydon Central scored three of the next four points. They were keyed by not only kills from senior Angela Shutters and Avery, but also a Katlyn Whelan dig that led to Mosley sending home a winner.
Trailing 10-9, the Lady Panthers couldn’t get the lead back. They tied it at 12 with a block from freshman Payton Windell, but Eastern continued to swing well late. Following a winning block from Roberts, Annie Olesh hammered two kills, solidifying an Eastern win.
‘I am concerned with the momentum swing,’ Briscoe said. ‘We don’t understand volleyball is an emotional game. You have to show some emotion, but we will work on that. These young girls are learning new things about volleyball every day.’
Corydon Central showed heart in the third game. The issue was struggling early on. Eastern roared to a 16-5 start that included a pair of Kirstie Adair aces. Play eventually steadied for the Lady Panthers in the game. With Eastern up 22-13, Corydon Central ripped off seven consecutive winners. Kills from Armstrong and an ace from senior Charity Martin fueled the run. The early deficit, however, was too much to overcome.
‘When you are starting two freshman and two sophomores, you’re going to deal with an experience issue,’ Briscoe said. ‘Our experience is going to come. I am real pleased with our seniors. They are doing a great job helping pick up these youngsters and make them think they are varsity players and not in junior high.’
Briscoe said she is being patient with the group, with the ultimate goal to be ready come tournament time.
‘Potentially, it is there. We are working in 12 to 13 kids at the varsity level, which is fun. It is great to see all those kids out there fighting for positions and working hard,’ Briscoe said.
Martin led Corydon Central in aces with five. The offense was spread out and was led in kills with 12 from Armstrong.
Earlier in the week, Corydon Central lost the season opener at Meade County (Ky.) in five games on Monday, but bounced back to sweep Charlestown the next night.
The volleyball team plays at Lanesville on Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 6 p.m.
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