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CAI flexes muscle at Lanesville

CAI flexes muscle at Lanesville
CAI flexes muscle at Lanesville
Lanesville front-row players Sydney Cassabella (10) and Mackenzie Schmelz block Christian Academy of Indiana's Abrianna Falcone. Photo by Brian Smith

Lanesville was in hopes of handing Christian Academy of Indiana its first loss of the season but came up short to the talented, defending Class 1A sectional champs.
Although CAI was dominant in the opening game, the Lady Eagles fought the rest of the way before falling 25-6, 25-19, 25-12 last Tuesday.
‘They are good, really good,’ Lanesville coach Pamela Tobbe said of Class 1A No. 7 CAI. ‘(CAI coach) Walter Pauly has done a great job building that program up. My team showed they could step up in the second game, because they showed fight.’
Lanesville failed to score in the opening set with an attack but that changed in game two. Kills from Haylie Walter, Annie Parsons and Kirsten Henke helped the Lady Eagles keep pace early on.
Whistled for a lift, CAI handed Lanesville a 6-5 lead. The visiting Warriors rallied back to win the next five points before Mackenzie Schmelz rose up to provide a winning block in the middle.
As the second game progressed, Lanesville didn’t let CAI get too far ahead. Sydney Cassabella provided a few digs, while Parsons landed a winner. An ace by Henke brought Lanesville to within one point, at 15-14. Each team traded points on the scoreboard until CAI’s 18-17 edge began to increase the margin.
Krista Boesing threw in an ace, while CAI’s talented freshman Alli Stumler put down three kills late. Lanesville attempted to break up the run of points with a Parsons attack, but CAI closed game two with a Alexis Lyons ace and Sierra Rayzor kill.
‘When we are up and things are going well, it gives our girls a boost of confidence,’ Tobbe said. ‘In game two, I saw that, but it helps if we can keep that mentality throughout the match.’
Game three was put away in the early going by CAI.
Rayzor had three of her seven kills, while Stumler put down two balls en route to a 10-0 lead.
Lanesville broke the drought when Peyton Blank set Parsons for a kill. Despite cutting the lead to 10-3 with three straight winners, CAI took the next seven points, three by way of Stumler aces.
Stumler finished with 12 kills, while Lyons netted seven aces.
‘I’ve seen these girls a lot because I coached or seen them play at Union (Club),’ Tobbe said. ‘It makes me happy in a way for them because it shows how far they’ve come. They have some good players.’
Tobbe said her team has struggled to put entire games together.
‘We still have trouble transitioning from one to two, two to three,’ Tobbe said. ‘It’s been a struggle all year to put all phases together.’
There is an attempt to instill a killer instinct.
‘We’re working with several of our girls on communication,’ she said. ‘There are several girls that are quiet on and off the court. It is trying to get them to become blood-thirsty, in a way, on the court.’
Skill-wise, hitting has improved and showed against the talented CAI team.
‘We’ve worked on hitting a lot,’ Tobbe said. ‘Hitting out or hitting into the net has been a problem, but tonight it was our serve-receive. We’ll keep working to get better.’
Parsons paced Lanesville in kills with four.
Lanesville will seek to get back on track tonight (Wednesday) when the Lady Eagles travel to Henryville. The Lady Eagles will return home Tuesday to face Clarksville.