September 04, 2013The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders gave their coach, Bart Powell, an easy, stress-free night for his birthday, dismantling the host Lady Panthers of Corydon Central in a three-game pounding. The Lady Highlanders are currently ranked fifth in the state in Class 4A.
"We haven't really worked on anything offensively yet, and I'm not going to for another five days to be exact," Powell said. "Next Wednesday, we'll start working on offense. Our passing and serve-receive is much better than it was last year, which makes us a much better team."
Floyd's Brooke Hinton and Riley Kaiser had each other covered as the pair went for a return in game three of the Lady Highlanders' win. Photo by Wade Bell
"They can afford to play club ball, and they do," Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said. "That's the moral of the story. There's nothing else you can say. They didn't play their best volleyball, but they swung real well tonight. We struggled just doing basic volleyball stuff. So, we'll be alright."
Corydon Central had come into the match having won its first three games but lost to Perry Central last Tuesday night in three straight games.
"Those teams were not as challenging as the game of volleyball is supposed to be," Briscoe said of the first three outings. "We were just trying to find some rhythm and find out who could play where. We're still searching for that perfect lineup, but, on a given night, the lineup has to change based on the opponent's attacking."
"We didn't play well at Perry," she said. "We played better tonight. If we had played at Perry like we did tonight, we probably would have beat Perry. That's just the difference in high school kids showing up."
Floyd Central began the match by launching to a 7-3 lead. Corydon Central pulled back into the game when Payton Windell killed to score and Floyd Central hit into the net. From there, the Lady Highlanders launched a major offensive, outscoring the Lady Panthers 7-0 to lead 16-6, with Sydney Engle swatting in three service aces late in the run. Corydon Central failed to regain any momentum and fell 25-10.
"I thought we played very complacent at times, without any focus, and that's just how the game is played," Briscoe said. "We don't see a lot of swingers like that in our current schedule because we're a 3A program. That's just kind of the way that is. We have a lot of kids that play multiple sports. A lot of those kids just play volleyball. That's a huge difference."
"We haven't put in any offense in," Powell said. "They threw a little bit in on their own because (setter) Remi (Bowman) is going to run whatever she wants to run. But, if we put in some offense, we should have some single blocks every time, and we've got good enough hitters to beat those blocks."
Bowman pushed the Lady Highlanders to an 8-0 lead to begin game two. The Floyd Central junior, who already had four kills in game one, added three more to her total in the first eight points. Chelsea John finally got Corydon Central on the board with a block to score. Engle countered with a tip, but Reagan Mosley followed with a Corydon Central kill.
At that point, Floyd Central began a second barrage, scoring the next 10 points with Bowman serving. Corydon Central again failed to recover, as Floyd Central dished out a 25-8 bruising.
Bowman, just a junior, had a major summer experience, playing on the U.S. Junior Olympic team, and was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts.
"She was pretty quick," Powell said. "She was on the (Junior Olympics') 2 team, and the 2 team beat the 1 team and they beat Peru in the finals. They won the international Junior Olympics. She was named to the all-tournament team, so it's not a mistake that she's that good. She's that quick. Sydney Engle pounded a couple of balls I haven't seen her pound in a long time."
Corydon Central began game three with a stronger performance, getting out to a 4-1 lead over the Lady Highlanders. Corydon Central stayed up front until Floyd Central's Brooke Hinton tipped to tie the game at six and Corydon Central hit into the net, handing the Lady Highlanders a 7-6 edge.
Corydon Central held its own, staying within two as Floyd Central misfired on two serves. The Lady Highlanders then launched another offensive, scoring the next seven points to lead 19-10. Corydon Central scored just three more points in the game as Floyd Central went on to get a 25-13 win.
"Corydon Central did a very nice job," Powell said. "They don't have the firepower that we've got, but they did a nice job digging some balls, and they were very scrappy. The scoreboard doesn't indicate. Without question, I thought Corydon Central did a nice job."
"We did have some bright moments," Briscoe said. "I'm looking for six kids who want to play all the time. That's it, not a certain rotation. Play and play hard."
Engle led the Lady Highlanders with 10 kills and three aces on serve. Bowman finished with nine kills and three aces, and Tierney Flaherty had six kills. Mikaila Humphrey had five kills, and Hinton had three kills and three aces on serve. Floyd Central had just 10 errors for the match, only missed four serves and swatted in 13 service aces.
Powell said the current plan was to just keep practicing on passing the ball.
"That's all we've been doing is passing the ball, and it's paying off," he said. "When you serve-receive and the ball goes right to the setter, that means you're in the system, and the good teams are in system 25 to 30 percent of the time. I'd say we were in system about 75 percent of the time. That's a big deal. So, we're just going to keep passing balls, and maybe I'm not going to put any offense in."
Windell led Corydon Central with eight kills, and Mosley finished with six. The Lady Panthers missed four serves, but they had only one service ace. Corydon Central finished with 14 errors.