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Crawford County's Kayla Elsea, right, had a record-setting night with 30 kills against Clarksville, this one going against Carol Hawkins in the first game of the Lady Pack's five-game win. Photo by Wade Bell

Elsea's 30 kills lead Crawford to W

September 25, 2013
The Crawford County Lady Pack volleyball team had a memorable night last Monday with three new school records in a five-game slug-fest with visiting Clarksville. The win was a carry-over from their Crawford County Invitational championship just two days before.

"I think the tournament finally gave them the boost that they needed to prove to them they were capable of doing it, so I think this was a carry-over," Crawford County coach Angie Allen. "But we hope to just keep building on it."

Crawford County got out front early in game one, but the Lady Generals worked their way back to a 6-all tie. Tylynn Allen tipped to put the Lady Pack back in front, starting a 15-3 run, with Kayla Elsea punching in eight kills in the run. Crawford County went on to register a 25-13 win.

Elsea had numbers on her mind coming into the match, looking up at the volleyball record board for kills in a match.

"On Saturday, Kayla was working to break that record, the hitting and kill records," Allen said. "She was working on that again tonight, too. So, she was on fire with her hitting. As long as she was able to do it, we just said, 'Keep setting her. Keep setting her.'

Clarksville adjusted to Elsea in game two, throwing up a tandem blocking team anytime she touched the ball. The Lady Generals used the strategy to get out to a 7-2 lead. Crawford County's Brooke Sauer was being left open, however, and pulled the Lady Pack back to tie at 11. Crawford County stayed within two until Clarksville made a final 6-0 run for a 25-16 win.

"We talked about teamwork and attitude," Elsea said of the pre-game talk. "If we keep our heads up, we can succeed."

Crawford County did just that in game three, switching up hitting duties at the net with Elsea, Sauer, Katie Tincher and Mikayla Bowman all getting kills. The Lady Pack did have a few errors in the game, allowing Clarksville to take a 22-19 lead. Bowman killed on the next side-out then Clarksville hit short to close the gap to one. That was the momentum Crawford County needed to finish out the game, with Elsea getting three straight kills for a 25-23 win.

"I think our girls did well with blocking in the first of the game, which helps tremendously," Allen said. "If we can get a touch, it just eases that ball and gives us a better opportunity to get it passed up."

Clarksville stayed out in front in game four until Elsea got two more kills to put Crawford County in front 12-10, the second breaking the old record of 22 kills.

The Lady Generals came back to tie, and the two teams began a trading session until Ali Sparkman punched in a kill to put Clarksville in front 22-20. Elsea killed twice then Sparkman slapped in a point. Elsea tied the game at 23, but Crawford County made two hitting errors and Clarksville had game four 25-23.

The two teams played to a 6-all tie to begin game five. Clraksville then served out of bounds and committed a hitting error. Tylynn Allen delivered a service ace, giving Crawford County a 9-6 advantage.

Carol Hawkins killed for Clarksville then hit into the net. Elsea hit out but came back with a block, and Tincher tipped for a point. Elsea kept the run going with two more kills. Hawkins hit into the net again, and the Lady Pack got the tiebreaker 15-8.

"It's a very big one, and the girls played well together," Allen said. "They've come together and played as a team, and they wanted it. Their actions showed they wanted it."

Elsea finished the match with a whopping 30 kills, vaporizing the old record of 22, and set a new record for hitting. Sauer had a big night as well with 18 kills, and Tincher had seven kills. Tylynn Allen, who set a new record for assists with 44, had four kills and three service aces. Crawford County had five aces on serve but had problems serving overall with 16 missed attempts. The Lady Pack had 33 errors.

"I was on my game all night, and I was just ready to win," Elsea said. "The tournament was very big. I was on my game in that, too, and I was just ready to attack the ball."

Elsea said she was confident she could set a new mark.

"It was only 22, and I was almost there," she said. "The girls kept telling me I needed, like, four more, so I was on it. I broke another school record. I broke two."

"Kayla Elsea set two records," Allen confirmed. "She set a new record for kills and she set a new record for hitting. We're going to check and see if some of the other records for setting were possibly broken, too."

Sparkman led Clarksville with 15 kills, while Malya Sutton and Hawkins finished with eight kills each. Bri Brown had six kills. Clarksville missed eight serves and had eight aces. The Lady Generals had 26 errors for the match.

"Lots of records broken tonight," Allen said. "Good things. I'm very comfortable right now with the girls of who I'm playing and who I have rotating into it in and out. I just told them in the locker room they're playing well together right now. But we can't stop here. We have to keep pushing to better ourselves for the rest of the season."


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