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Better, balanced attack lifts Lanesville

Better, balanced attack lifts Lanesville
Better, balanced attack lifts Lanesville
Battling for a free ball near the net, Lanesville's Lindsey Ash (9) goes to block the hit of South Central's Jordan Renn. Photo by Brian Smith

The road trip to Elizabeth was much quicker last Tuesday for the Lanesville volleyball team in comparison to the voyage the night prior.
End results at both trips, the prior to Cannelton, were wins for the Lady Eagles, the first of the season.
Tuesday night, Lanesville jumped ahead of rival South Central early in game one, rolling to victory. In games two and three, the youthful Lady Rebels showed more fight but came up short. Lanesville went on to win in straight sets, 25-9, 25-23, 25-18 and loaded the bus before nightfall.
‘We had Cannelton last night, and there we experimented with a few different things,’ Lanesville coach Pamela Tobbe said. ‘We switched some positions and didn’t change it up too much tonight. It seemed to work better.’
Some of Lanesville’s adjustments showed early with sophomore outside hitters Beth Combs and Kelsey Richmer taking shots at the South Central defense.
In the middle, the Lady Eagles sent Nia Tomes and Skylar Belden to not only defend the net, but also attack.
Belden had a kill to give the Lady Eagles a 7-3 edge in game one. It was part of a 10-0 scoring run which also saw Klaire Henke drop in an ace. Three straight points at one time came when South Central had swinging miscues.
‘Nia and Skylar got going, and that helps us a lot,’ Tobbe said. ‘They can be big in the middle, which is what we need.’
Tomes hammered down a South Central overpass late in game one. South Central had trouble finding consistency with scoring, seeing Jordan Renn and Kaylee Logsdon place winners.
To put the opening game away, Alexis Kaufer scored via ace and left-handed hitter Lindsey Ash swung away for a kill.
‘I have 11 freshmen that came out, and we have several of those freshmen playing varsity,’ South Central coach Patty Shaffer said. ‘We really depend on our upperclassmen to lead and show them the way. When one gets frustrated, the others get frustrated. It really has an affect on the team.’
A bright spot for South Central shined on the serve of junior Sydney Lewis. She accounted for three straight aces to open game two. In all, Lewis’ serve provided eight aces in the Lady Rebels’ favor.
‘She has a great serve when she is on,’ Shaffer said of Lewis. ‘It’s something she’s been battling with lately. She’s tweaked it some, and it’s working for her.’
Lanesville slowly chipped away at South Central’s 4-0 start to game two. Just as Lewis was strong on the service line for South Central, Lanna Shaffer provided aces for the Lady Eagles as well. She had five for the match, two in game two.
Richmer and Belden put down winners to move Lanesville ahead 7-6.
The lead extended to 14-11 in favor of Lanesville, but South Central didn’t go quietly. Alyssa Pumphrey, Miranda Kiper and Lewis had winners during a 9-1 spurt to put the Lady Rebels up 20-15.
Up five, South Central gave up nine straight points with Shaffer on the service line. She had an ace during the outburst, while Combs and Belden provided kills.
An errand South Central serve closed game two at 25-23.
‘I have some of my sophomores getting more comfortable playing on varsity, Beth and Kelsey,’ Tobbe said. ‘If I can get Beth to open her hand more, she’d take another step forward … They are getting more comfortable playing on the court. Last year they only played JV, so now they are starting to feel more comfortable playing with the big kids they were under last year.’
Nearly identical to game two, Lewis at the line gave South Central an early 4-0 lead.
Both squads battled back and forth until Mackenzie Miller put in an ace to surge Lanesville ahead 12-9. South Central’s lone rally back was when Lewis scored on aces, putting her team up by one point.
‘Our serve receive hurt a little bit because (Lewis) on their team has an amazing serve,’ Tobbe said. ‘It isn’t top-spin, but the ball turns on its side. We’ve been working on top-spin serves, but they didn’t know how to adjust today. We talked them through it, and now we know.’
Tied at 15-all, Lanesville closed game three on a 10-3 run, giving the Lady Eagles the Southern Athletic Conference victory.
‘We struggled last year with the roller coaster and momentum of letting teams back into games when we are ahead,’ Tobbe said. ‘This year, hopefully, we can get over that. We showed more consistency today.’
Combs led Lanesville in kills with five, while Belden and Tomes had four each.
South Central’s kill leader was Lewis with three.
‘A lot of our girls ‘ Kendall Miller, Jenna Baelz ‘ they show spurts of really good attacking,’ Shaffer said. ‘Occasionally, we have good passes but then watch balls drop. It’ll come together. I hoped it would come together before tonight.’
After dropping the first several games of the season, Lanesville’s win over its rival gives the Lady Eagles a modest two-game win streak, including the 25-16, 25-21, 25-21 score over Cannelton.
‘What helped us last night was getting us back to believing we can win,’ Tobbe said. ‘This is the team I saw during the summer and during the Louisville camp we went to. It’s like they are coming back out of their shells and playing.’
Lanesville is slated to host Tell City tonight (Wednesday) then travel to Medora on Friday. South Central, meanwhile, will host Borden on Friday then Corydon Central on Tuesday.

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