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Rematch goes to Lady Panthers

Rematch goes to Lady Panthers
Rematch goes to Lady Panthers
Corydon Central's Grace Carver is all smiles after the Lady Panthers scored a key point in game four at Lanesville. Photo by Brian Smith

Three days after meeting in the New Albany Invitational, the Corydon Central and Lanesville volleyball squads met once again on the court.
Away from a neutral court, Lanesville welcomed the Lady Panthers after scoring a 2-1 victory just days prior. It was Corydon Central winning this time around, defeating host Lanesville in four games, 25-16, 26-24, 21-25, 25-18, last Tuesday.
‘It was a great win, and we hope to carry it on,’ Corydon Central coach Jessica Guiffre said. ‘I think the key is having fun and playing well together. It showed it works today.’
Hannah Marshall put down one of her many kills for Corydon Central to give her team a 24-13 lead setting up an opening-game Lady Panthers’ win.
‘It was nice to get game one the way we did,’ Guiffre said. ‘It set the tone for us.’
Game two was much tighter. Neither team could pull away with Corydon Central’s largest lead at four points while Lanesville’s was two.
Up front, Lanesville’s Kelsey Richmer had a block and kill to win consecutive points for a 4-2 lead. Play near the net was an improvement Lanesville coach Pamela Tobbe noticed throughout the match.
‘I think we had more blocks tonight than we had all year,’ Tobbe said. ‘I’m glad that finally picked up. We have such tall girls for our area, and Kelsey and Beth (Combs) have been very timid. But I can see the more games we play and the exposure they get on the front line, they are becoming more aggressive.’
Corydon Central turned the tide briefly with kills coming from Jessie Johnson and Zoe Saulman. Marshall came with a back-row attack, leading to an 11-8 Corydon Central edge.
The Lady Panthers couldn’t put Lanesville completely away. Setter Alexis Kaufer passed a winner for Lanesville, while Nia Tomes combined with Combs for a double block.
On the opposite side, Marshall continued her attacking ways with consecutive kills. Lanesville’s Skylar Belden saw limited action due to an injury but aided the Lady Eagles with a game-two kill along with another from Richmer.
Tied at 18-all, Lanesville had a handful of swing errors and a Saulman kill to prompt Corydon Central’s largest favorable margin at 22-18.
Out of a Lanesville time-out, Kaufer toed the service line to capture four straight points, three due to Corydon Central miscues to even the game at 22.
Lanesville fought back to lead 24-23 due to a Corydon Central ball going out long.
In the crunch time, Marshall put down a smash. Following a Lanesville error, Maddie Fessel served the game winner for Corydon Central. The 26th and decisive point was sent down by Marshall through the Lanesville block attempt.
‘She played very well,’ Guiffre said of Marshall. ‘She’s one of my go-to girls when we need a point. She swings well and works on those quick sets in practice. A lot of teams can’t handle those quick sets. It’s hard to defend.’
Lanesville jumped out to a sizable lead in game three to push the match to four. Lindsey Ash had a winning kill along with teammates Combs and Richmer. The attacks saw Lanesville lead 7-3.
Corydon Central, with Marshall putting in two aces, leveled the game at 7. From there, Ash passed a winner to give Lanesville the lead for good. Belden got going on the outside, sending shots to the floor. Libero Lanna Shaffer tossed in a back-row kill as well.
‘We are dealing with Skylar’s knee ‘ she injured it on Saturday ‘ so we are easing her back,’ Tobbe said. ‘She didn’t play against Corydon on Saturday or yesterday, so we stuck her at left (outside hitter) today.’
Limiting Belden’s play, one of Lanesville’s more experienced players, allowed Nia Tomes, Combs and Richmer to see more time in the middle of the Lady Eagles’ rotation.
‘Being aggressive at the net goes a long way,’ Tobbe said of the front-row players. ‘You have to fight for the ball, either in the middle or the person on the outside. You have to want to stop that ball. Nia is naturally aggressive at the net. A lot of it is technique, penetrating the net.’
It was Belden blocking a winner late in game three, setting up a fourth.
Corydon Central jumped out quickly with a Johnson ace, seeing the Lady Panthers storm ahead 9-2. Lanesville cut the margin to three on two occasions; however, it wasn’t enough, sending Corydon Central to a revenge win.
Guiffre saw her team play with some fiery emotion, celebrating several key points wildly.
‘I’ve been waiting for some emotion to come out,’ she said. ‘This is the first match where I could see the girls really coming out of their shells. Have fun and play hard, that’s what I ask of them. It’s coming together.’
The Lady Panthers also mixed setters Ashlyn Crawford and Haley Skinner on the floor.
‘They both have phenomenal hands,’ Guiffre said of setter options. ‘I can’t pick one over the other. They each play a different role on the team. It was working using both, and I kept with it.’
Guiffre said there is an advantage to having multiple athletes play multiple positions on the floor.
Corydon Central is set to host the Corydon Central Invitational on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. Lanesville, meanwhile, is set to face Shawe Memorial on Tuesday.