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Corydon Central tips Lady Cats

Corydon Central tips Lady Cats
Corydon Central tips Lady Cats
The Corydon Central and North Harrison volleyball teams join together to recognize both cancer awareness and small businesses before their match last Tuesday night. Photos by Wade Bell
Wade Bell, Contributing Writer

On a night that was recognizing local small businesses and cancer awareness, the host Corydon Central Lady Panthers volleyball team won three of four games over county-rival North Harrison in a Mid-Southern Conference round. Corydon Central’s attacks at the net proved to be the difference in the Lady Panthers’ 3-1 win.

Corydon Central tips Lady Cats
Corydon Central junior Aslynn Tracy tips over North Harrison’s Ashton Blackburn in the Lady Panthers’ 3-1 win. Tracy finished with 16 kills.

“Overall, we looked good,” said Corydon Central coach Chrissy Tuchscherer. “It was a good opportunity. They beat us in a tournament, so we needed to come back and get our mind a little more set on taking down your county rival and being prepared. We try to make the night a fun night with all the donations and celebrations of those small businesses but, when it came down to it, I told them, ‘You have to show up and play volleyball. That was your job tonight. We did all of the fun stuff of decorating, but now you actually have to go out there to play to win.’ They did a nice job of doing that.”

“We’ve talked a lot about all six people playing all of the time, especially our leaders,” said North Harrison coach Caitlyn Burson. “If you want to be a leader, you have to lead all 25 points all five sets, not just swing when it’s convenient. … ”

The two teams traded the lead back and fourth early in game one, then the Lady Panthers had a 4-0 burst to lead 9-5. North Harrison closed the gap to one on an ace by Emma Schneider, and Bri Fawver tipped to tie the game at 15. Ties came again at 17, 18, 21 and 22 as the two teams battled. McKenzie Hess killed to put Corydon Central up by one, then the Lady Cats were called for being out of rotation. Ashton Blackburn got one of those points back for the Lady Cats, but Savannah Moberly killed for the final point, giving the Lady Panthers the 25-23 win.

Corydon Central led most of game two as well. The Lady Panthers led at 9-4, but North Harrison charged back with Schneider getting a tip and an ace on serve. Following a Corydon Central kill by Kimi Wolfe, Morgan Friedholdt killed for the Lady Cats and Molly Coomer delivered a service ace. Corydon Central committed a hitting error on the next side-out and its advantage was down to one.

The Lady Panthers pressed the issue again, and their lead went back to five. The next several side-outs went back and forth, then Corydon Central committed three straight hitting errors. Blackburn followed with a kill, and North Harrison went up by one, 22-21. Schneider followed with a tip and, from there, the Lady Cats went on to get a 25-23 win.

“I think that was a matter of not giving up and all six people on the court were doing their jobs,” said Burson. “It wasn’t just a few things here or there. Everybody was working hard, and they were talking and communicating and just up and cheering. Those are things we need to do in order to stay in one unit rather than kind of falling apart.”

The lead changed hands five times in game three as the two teams battled to get that second set win. Midway through the game, the Lady Panthers got some traction and pushed to an 18-11 advantage. The Lady Cats fought to keep their composure and later closed the gap to three, 19-16. Frustration won over North Harrison, however, with the Lady Cats committing three straight errors leading to a 25-17 win for the Lady Panthers.

“Coming off a loss is when it can go one of two ways,” Tuchscherer said. “It can come out and be aggressive with it and take charge of a ballgame, or after a loss let them come out and get another win. That’s kind of our mentality. It starts strong but something we have to work on is finishing strong. They did a nice job of doing that in the third game.”

The Lady Panthers were also covering the floor like a carpet on the back row to keep the Lady Cats off balance.

“We’ve got (Audrey) Oxley and Trystan (Schreck) back there with constant movement digging stuff up and you’re like, ‘Did you really just do that?’ ” Tuchscherer said. “They kind of surprise you, but they move so well and work so well together … They make it look easy sometimes, but they do a nice job putting in the effort to get it there.”

Corydon Central raced out to a 6-1 lead to begin game four and later to 10-3 following a North Harrison error. Andrea Ness then delivered a kill for the Lady Cats, and Fawver delivered three straight service aces. Corydon Central hit into the net on the next side-out, and the Lady Panthers’ edge was down to two. From there, North Harrison struggled again as Corydon Central viciously attacked the net, putting the Lady Panthers up by nine, 21-12. North Harrison had one short burst at the end but not near enough as the Lady Panthers got the game and match win 25-19.

“It was a good momentum boost for us because, with all of the stuff going on, it’s been people with injuries going out, people out for being in close contact at school,” Tuchscherer said. “Piecing it altogether and playing at a moment’s notice, you may be playing in a different position. They’re doing a nice job of adapting to those changes.”

Burson said Corydon Central’s back-row coverage made it difficult for her hitters to punch into what holes that were allowed.

“That’s what made it a frustrating night offensively when we tried to find the holes,” she said. “I think we did a better job finding some holes instead of just changing pace rather than going through the motions the same way every single time.”

Aslynn Tracy led the Lady Panthers with 16 kills, and Kayla Willoughby followed with seven. Wolfe had five kills, and Bailey Orme finished with three kills and two service aces. Corydon Central missed five serves, delivered six service aces and had 41 errors.

“She can slam a ball,” Tuchscherer said of Tracy, “and she gets some slammed down every now and then. Tonight, it was her job to take that ball and make sure it went to the ground every time, every opportunity that she got. She did a nice job of doing that.”

Friedholdt, Fawver and Blackburn each had six kills for North Harrison, and Fawver added three service aces to her total. Schneider and Ness had five kills each for the Lady Cats, who missed six serves and had eight aces. The Lady Cats also had 41 errors.

“We got tired, I think, and we didn’t do a good job of closing the block,” said Burson. “That hurt us as well.”

The North Harrison coach said the loss is a bit of a setback going into the final week of play before the post-season.

“I think it is because this is a game we’ve won before,” she said. “We want to get another win out of it and, when we don’t, it shows our gaps and what we need to work on even more than when you win a game.”

“This was the moment we had to say this is our mentality for the draw in the next week in the sectional, that their aggressiveness stays in the game zero to 25,” said Tuchscherer. “Minimize the errors and maximize your efforts and, hopefully, that’s done and how it sticks. We’ve got another three games next week, and we’ll roll into the sectional next week with it.”

North Harrison is scheduled to host Austin today (Wednesday), while Corydon Central is slated to host Clarksville tomorrow; both contests are set to begin at 6 p.m.