Serves of Creek too much for Lady Cats
The North Harrison volleyball team fought off several kill attempts on match point in the first round of the Class 3A Corydon Central Sectional last Tuesday against Silver Creek.
Although each deflected Lady Dragons kill attempt and digs from the Lady Cats back line prolonged the final point, Haley Garr’s tip over the net and to the floor ended one of the match’s longest rallies. The winning point for Silver Creek gave the Lady Dragons a 25-14, 25-19, 25-10 win over North Harrison, ending the Lady Cats’ season.
‘It’s hard to take this loss, but, as a first-year coach, it’s a learning experience for me and I’ve learned a lot,’ North Harrison coach Alexis Speer said. ‘But I would not trade this team for the No. 1 team in 4A or 1A. I wouldn’t even trade them for the USA team. I just love these girls.’
North Harrison led in game one 3-2 following a Jill Book ace. Silver Creek, however, took command of the game when they won nine of the next 10 points. A dig by Book was the lone winner for the Lady Cats.
Silver Creek’s success came from the service line with Kaitlyn Ramser putting in three kills while Garr had one. North Harrison cut the Silver Creek advantage to four on two occasions: a Carlie Burson block to make it 11-7, then a Lady Dragons side out to make it 14-10. The deficit would never get closer in the opener.
Trouble with Sammi Smith’s aces to start game two put North Harrison in a 4-2 hole. North Harrison then dug itself out when a kill by Brooke Lamon started a rally. She contributed another spike, while Burson added a kill to help North Harrison go on a 9-2 spurt to lead 11-6.
Silver Creek chipped away, eventually knotting the match at 12-all. Miscues by the Lady Dragons and a Maddie Janes winner gave North Harrison a 16-13 edge.
Behind two Morgan Reining kills and an ace from Brynn Ware, Silver Creek took its first lead since the early stages of the game, 17-16. The Lady Dragons rode the wave of momentum to a 25-19 win.
‘The second and third game we played real hard,’ Speer said. ‘We were ahead most of game two, but we play like we’re 20 behind instead of five up.’
Game three opened with a 4-0 Silver Creek lead. Aces continued to prompt issues for the Lady Cats. Seventeen Silver Creek points were won via the ace, including six from Garr. A Liz Mann point from the service line put the Lady Dragons up 12-4, and they eventually closed out the win.
‘(Garr) has a great jump serve,’ Speer said. ‘Nothing to take from them, but I think we made some silly mistakes. I told the girls to have that killer mentality to dig up her ball. I challenged Maddie one time, and she responded with a perfect pass off a dig on the next ball. That’s what I want. You can’t get down on yourself.’
Speer was pleased with the effort for much of the game. Playing hard is something she said the team improved on during the course of the season.
‘We’ve shown a lot of improvements,’ she said. ‘Looking back at the first game against New Albany and how we played at the end of the season was a big improvement. I preach to the girls to give it their all, like the last play of the game.’
The Lady Cats finished the season 12-15 and will return all but one player: the team’s lone senior Lamon.
‘We’ll miss Brooke,’ Speer said. ‘She is a positive player on the court and makes a huge difference. She did get down on herself a little bit tonight, which she rarely does. She’s a hard hitter we’ll miss and good role model.’
Speer said she appreciated Lamon’s leadership with a younger group.
‘She was a great leader and role model to the younger athletes on the team, just a positive person. I wish her nothing but the best. She’s my first and only senior, so she will always be special to me,’ Speer said. ‘I’m just proud of her.’
Speer said she was pleased with the season.
‘We had a good season. We weren’t quite where I thought we’d be, but we lost to some great teams and Silver Creek was one,’ she said.