Eventual champs oust Lady Cats in three
North Harrison was able to snag away a game from two-time defending sectional champion Silver Creek during the two teams’ regular season meeting.
At the Class 3A Charlestown sectional Saturday morning, the No. 8 Lady Dragons served strong in game one and rallied in game two to eventually end North Harrison’s season with a 25-15, 25-22, 25-17 victory.
‘I’m proud of our girls; they had to work really hard to get where they are,’ North Harrison coach Wes Briscoe said.
In the opening game, North Harrison hung tough through the early stages. Hayley Renneker and Halle Jacobi delivered early kills to get the Lady Cat offense going. Up 7-6, Silver Creek extended the lead to 12-7 when Kristyn Maymon put down four kills.
North Harrison responded well to the Silver Creek run. After several Lady Dragon side outs, Jacobi served an ace, rallying the Lady Cats to within one point, 12-11.
Later in the game, Silver Creek’s Haley Garr went on an impressive serving run. After scoring with a kill, Garr addressed the serving line with a 16-13 lead. Five aces later, the Lady Dragons used a nine-point run to eventually take the game.
‘We knew what we were going to have to do to be successful,’ Briscoe said. ‘Garr definitely was on with her serve today. We talked about from the start of the season, when we play New Albany. They have a girl with an aggressive top-spin jump serve. Everybody sitting (in the crowd) thinks it is a spectacular serve. Not to take anything away from the girl, but that is not a hard ball to pass. It is something we worked on, but we weren’t focused on that today.’
North Harrison made the necessary adjustments to pass the ball better in game two. Kendra Lambert opened the second game with a winning shot, starting a 5-0 run. Silver Creek stormed back to tie the game at 6-all, but North Harrison continued to play aggressively.
A kill from Jacobi, followed by two winners from Renneker pushed the Lady Cats back up, 10-7.
‘I thought, for the most part, Jacobi, (Emily) Giles and Renneker, they got a lot of good hits on the ball and didn’t have much of a problem,’ Briscoe said.
Both teams traded the lead late, including a tie score at 22 when Silver Creek hit a ball wide. Tied, Maymon delivered two kills and Garr the other to snag game two from the Lady Cats, 25-22.
‘We had the lead most of game two but couldn’t get over the hump,’ Briscoe said. ‘Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep that lead. It could have been a whole different match if we took that game. But we adjusted well to Creek’s serving game after game one. Had a close game two, but losing that game took their air out.’
North Harrison fizzled in game three, allowing Silver Creek to take a 10-2 advantage to open the match. The lead grew to as big as 18-6 before North Harrison began coming around. By that time, it was too late.
‘I don’t have a problem with us losing because Silver Creek is a great program, but I want us to go down fighting hard,’ Briscoe said. ‘We play the longest season in high school sports, but you don’t want to end your last match going through the motions.’
Briscoe said the team struggled much of the game receiving the first ball over the net, including allowing Garr to finish with 10 aces.
‘Sad part about it is, when we had her taken care of and we passed the ball, we made errors,’ Briscoe said. ‘When we took care of Maymon’s serve, another good server, but we allowed Silver Creek to make runs with not as aggressive servers putting the ball in.’
Renneker and Jacobi finished with five kills each.
Silver Creek went on to defeat Mitchell in three games to win the sectional title.