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Lady Eagles outlast SC in 4

Lady Eagles outlast SC in 4
Lady Eagles outlast SC in 4
Lanesville setter Peyton Black keeps her eye on the ball before making a pass to a teammate for a kill attempt against South Central. The junior helped lead the Lady Eagles by their rivals 3-1. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Lanesville used a fast start in game four to fend off a pesky South Central volleyball team last Tuesday on the Lady Eagles’ home court.
Starting the fourth with an 8-0 run helped Lanesville to eventually win 25-16, 23-25, 25-22, 25-17.
Even though Lanesville never allowed South Central within six points in game four, the three previous games were a battle between the Southern Athletic Conference rivals.
Game one saw 12 ties, game three featured a 12-point come-from-behind effort from the Lady Rebels while game three reverted to game one’s back-and-forth effort with 10 ties.
‘I’m proud of the way they came back after losing the second game,’ Lanesville coach Brittany Gayhart said. ‘South was scrappy all night.’
Errors plagued Lanesville for much of the match, with many coming at the service line. Seven of South Central’s first 15 points came way of Lady Eagles’ issues with getting serves in play. With the scored tied at 15 in game one, Lanesville used a kill from Sydney Casabella to win 10 of the next 11 points.
Three straight South Central errors led to a timeout, but a solo block from Kirsten Henke gave Lanesville another point out of the break. Lanesville’s one hiccup during the spurt to close game one was an error. To close the book, Peyton Blank had a kill while Robyn Schoen had a solo block and Henke an ace.
Game two saw two decisively different halves. Lanesville looked near unstoppable in the first portion. When leading 6-4, Schoen dominated the service line, helping the Lady Eagles score 10 straight, three by ace. Mackenzie Schmelz threw in a kill during the spurt.
Once the Lady Eagles led by 16-4, the gap wasn’t enough to put away the Lady Rebels.
South Central’s comeback began with Issabelle Temple passing a winner to an open spot. Lanesville scored three straight after committing an error and still led 19-6.
Three Lanesville errors then a South Central smash from Jasmine Nalley fired up a spirited rally. Libero Oakley Taylor threw in an ace then dug a winning pass when the Lady Rebels ground through a long rally to cut Lanesville’s lead to 19-13.
Maddison O’Connor and Sabra Walker contributed South Central winners, getting South Central to within four at 22-18. Lanesville would score once more in the game, a Hannah Conder kill, but South Central responded with seven straight to close the comeback.
The final seven were on the right handed serve of Temple. She served five aces despite two Lanesville timeouts called during the span.
‘It was crazy to come back like that,’ South Central coach Patty Shaffer said. ‘We definitely proved ourselves when we quit playing scared. If we go up with our attacks or any offense we have, we had confidence to make runs. When you free-ball it over or tip it over, you allow the other team to attack.’
The collapse of game two irritated the Lanesville coach, particularly with serves.
‘Our lack of concentration serving the ball is all I can think about,’ Gayhart said. ‘I told the girls to take it one point at a time when we’re struggling at the service line, like it’s a sectional or conference championship. Sometimes the ball just needs to go over and in.’
On the back of two Walker aces to start game three, South Central took an early 5-2 edge.
Lanesville, however, got back into the flow with a Haylie Walter kill.
Conder and Schoen paced the Lanesville offense to take a 12-8 lead. Both teams would go back and forth as they did in game one. The biggest lead for Lanesville was four while South Central’s was three.
South Central knotted the game for the final time with a Temple kill, 21-all.
Lanesville went to Casabella for a kill, followed by two from Schoen to edge out their rivals.
‘We had some pretty decent blocks tonight with Robyn and Hannah,’ Gayhart said. ‘Communication is something we need to continue to work on, but we are heading in the right direction.’
Lanesville began game four with an 8-0 lead, led by an Emily Davis ace and a Schoen kill.
Despite a six-point run by South Central midway through the game, Lanesville wouldn’t allow another big comeback. The Lady Eagles pulled away to lead by 10 with a Henke ace before winning by eight.
‘I think we have the girls doing what is asked,’ Shaffer said. ‘It’ll take getting the right combinations together and developing confidence. It’s amazing how important (confidence) is. Fundamentals are very important and teamwork but lack of confidence is a meltdown in volleyball.’
Shaffer said that the team can build on playing well against the defending SAC champs.
‘We’re still rebuilding with the group we have,’ she added. ‘We have one senior in Maddie O’Connor, and she hasn’t played the last couple years but is coming back. She’s really helped us out in the front middle position.’
South Central has three juniors on the varsity roster, and the rest are freshmen and sophomores.
With the win, Lanesville improved to 2-1 on the season and open league play with a 1-0 mark.
‘We still have work to do,’ Gayhart said. ‘Our body language when we were down was down, but, when we were up, that helped us pull the final two games out.’
Lanesville will return to action today (Wednesday) when the Lady Eagles travel to Tell City for a 6:30 p.m. start. They’ll return home Monday to face Medora (6 p.m.). South Central, meanwhile, will host Paoli tomorrow at 7 p.m. The Lady Rebels will jump back to SAC play Friday when they play at Borden (7 p.m.).