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Positives early for Lady Panthers’ volleyball

Positives early for Lady Panthers’ volleyball
Positives early for Lady Panthers’ volleyball
Corydon Central outside hitter Demi Oxley goes across the court to score a point through the Meade County (Ky.) block attempt. Photo by Brian Smith

Flying across the court and communicating on the floor with regularity were some of the positive takeaways from Corydon Central’s regular season volleyball opener Monday.
Hosting Meade County (Ky.), the Lady Panthers had a seven-point lead at one stage of the opening game before the visiting Ladywave embarked on a 9-0 run. Meade County eventually won a tight battle in games one and two before sweeping Corydon Central 25-22, 25-20, 25-9.
‘This game was a good place to start for our team,’ said second-year Corydon Central coach Chrissy Tuchscherer. ‘You can see how a team is progressing after a really good scrimmage against Perry Central. We are figuring out how we can improve from this game three. Games one and two, I was really proud of the girls. They took a loss, but it was a good match.’
Jessie Johnson gave the crowd a boost by smacking home the season’s first kill on the first point of the match for Corydon Central. Meade County rallied back to take a 6-3 lead until a net violation ruined momentum.
From there, Johnson delivered an ace followed by a Katie Fessel winner, all part of a 7-1 Corydon Central run. To force a Meade County timeout, the spurt ended with Lady Panthers’ libero Trystan Schreck laying out for a dig, earning her team a point after Meade County had an error.
The Corydon Central lead ballooned to 19-11, thanks to a pair of Demi Oxley aces. The lead sat at six, 20-14, after Fessel delivered a point from the middle.
Meade County, backed by Abby Powers sending over a winner, prompted a nine-point outburst. Two Carla Bravo aces put the Ladywave up 23-20. The longest rally of the game, with the score set at 23-21, was won by Meade County despite a pair of Corydon Central digs out of Grace Carver.
‘As a team, you always want to find an identity,’ Tuchscherer said. ‘If our identity becomes scrambling for every ball and keeping it in play, then I’m going to take that. I’d rather have that than let a ball hit the floor.’
Game two featured Meade County racing ahead 8-5 before digs by Carver and Johnson resulted in a Corydon Central point. Seizing some energy, Corydon Central setter Savannah Moberly started to feed Oxley on the outside, resulting in consecutive kills.
‘(Demi) is a fun player to watch,’ Tuchscherer said. ‘She’s played a lot of volleyball. She’s been working a lot on not just hitting line or cross court, but also going for really tight shots. It’s making her game better.’
Later in game two, a kill off the tape by Carver put Corydon Central within one point, 16-15. A Fessel ace and a series of Meade County errors eventually evened the score at 19. Similar to game one, the longest rally came late. At 19-all, it was back and forth across the net. Meade County eventually won the point and took five of the next six points.
‘That rally was forever long,’ Tuchscherer said. ‘You could tell fatigue for both teams was starting to happen. At times, it seemed like both teams were putting the ball over the net to give themselves a little rest on defense.’
The third game was all Meade County, which took a double-digit lead early and had no trouble closing out.
Tuchscherer came away pleased with the match along with a win in the preseason over Perry Central in a scrimmage.
‘The scrimmage with Perry, they have some big hitters, which is good because the part of our game that needs work is blocking,’ she said. ‘We starting to touch the ball more than I thought we would. I thought it would be more of a process, but it’s coming together more often. There is always something to work on.’
One area she wants to also work on is finding ways to stay aggressive with offensive chances while still playing smart.
Oxley paced the Lady Panthers with six kills and two aces.
So far, the on-the-court communication has been a positive.
‘It was fun to see all the communication because, as a coach, you can see they are gelling on the court,’ Tuchscherer said. ‘To do that in the first game of the season is very exciting. Sometimes you have to hit that lull in mid-season to figure (communication) out. If they are doing that now, it’s only going to get better.’
Corydon Central will play at home tomorrow (Thursday) against Mid-Southern Conference-foe Eastern (Pekin).