Ace after ace, Lady Eagles thump Cannelton
Through the 75 points it took to defeat Cannelton Thursday, Lanesville trailed the visitor on just one occasion before rolling to a three-game victory.
Coming off a successful season a year ago, the defending Southern Athletic Conference champions moved forward in the young 2013 season with a mostly new looking team.
Seniors Robyn Schoen and Hannah Conder, along with Haylie Walter, saw extensive varsity time a season ago, but this season the trio are bringing along players to debut the high school level.
The sweep of Cannelton, 25-14, 25-6, 25-9, was a bounce back from a four-game loss to Orleans earlier in the week.
‘We have the two seniors in there,’ Lanesville coach Brittney Gayhart said. ‘Haylie Walter played some last year, but those three had playing time last year after losing seven seniors. I told the girls after the Orleans loss that we weren’t going to dwell on it because it isn’t sectional or conference yet, but you have to learn from each game.’
A startling 23 points were won against Cannelton at the service line via the ace. Sydney Casabella began the game serving Lanesville to a 5-0 lead. Three of the points were won with a non-returnable serve from the junior.
Cannelton was able to rally back, cutting the score to 11-9 in game one, but the Lady Eagles responded on their home floor with eight consecutive winners. Conder contributed three of her team best seven kills during the spurt while Walter added two.
Game one would end with Casabella sending home a winning spike off the set of Conder.
‘The energy was much better today,’ Gayhart said. ‘I think it will get better as the season progresses because it is like a whole new team. They don’t have the experience of playing together consistently yet.’
Briefly gaining the lead was Cannelton in the second game when Makala Kellems started with an ace. The lead didn’t last with the Lanesville defensive specialist passing a winner over the net. She was followed by yet another Casabella ace to give Lanesville a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Growing the lead from 11-4 to 15-4 in game two came from the jump serve of Walter. Four aces in a row gave the Lady Eagles a commanding lead. Lanesville would win the final eight points of game two, served out by Kirsten Henke.
Walter would lead the team in aces, totaling seven. Casabella had six, while Conder contributed four. Others logging aces were Peyton Blank (two), Maranda Buccola (one), Emily Davis (one) and Schoen (one).
To go with Conder’s kills, Walter had five kills while Casabella and Schoen had three each.
‘They like to swing and kill it,’ Gayhart said. ‘If they all click at the right time, they are decent. But we have to figure out how to play at the same pace and speed. Our biggest thing we work in practice is our communication. I thought tonight it was an improvement from Tuesday.’
Cannelton’s offense was limited to only one kill, along with three winning blocks, two by way of Mikah Hemmings. Credit the limit to Lanesville’s defense, led by four digs and two blocks from Schoen.
Different from last season, Gayhart has switched the offense from a 5-1 to a 6-2, meaning the team utilizes two setters on the floor. Those setters, Conder and Blank, can also attack players as well.
‘I was worried about the switch, but they are adjusting to it well,’ Gayhart said. ‘All around I was happy because it’s early in the season. We still have a lot of things to work on, but we have time to iron things out.’
Lanesville entered SAC play last night (Tuesday) when it hosted South Central. The Lady Eagles will return to action Saturday, stepping up in class to participate in the River City Classic hosted by New Albany.
‘We’ll have a good challenge when we go to New Albany,’ Gayhart said. ‘It’s good to have that challenge. We drew New Albany and Mount Vernon off the bat.’