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Valley sweeps Lady Pack

September 04, 2019
The Springs Valley volleyball team came into Ron Ferguson Gymnasium with both size and a very experienced front line that overpowered Crawford County in a three-game sweep last Tuesday night. The Lady Pack made a big effort late in the match, but the Lady Hawks proved to be too much, with Valley getting its first Patoka Lake Athletic Conference and fourth overall win of the season, sweeping each.

Crawford County senior Lexie Fraime gets a touch on this hit by Springs Valley's Jewel McCormick in the Lady Pack's three-game loss to the Lady Hawks. Photo By Wade Bell
"This one was a conference game and a conference loss, but it's early in the season," Crawford County coach Julie Adams said.

The two teams had a hearty battle through the first half of game one with five ties and four lead changes before Valley finally made a 4-0 run to lead 12-8. The teams traded points, then the Lady Hawks went on another run, this one for six straight points and an 18-9 lead. The Lady Pack couldn't find any traction from that point, and Valley went on to post a 25-17 win.

The Lady Hawks carried their momentum into game two, beginning with a 4-0 advantage, then made two errors that let Crawford County back into the game. That didn't affect Valley, however, who went on a 7-2 run for an 11-4 advantage.

Jewel McCormick came back in with a big swing for two kills extending Valley's lead to nine. The Lady Hawks then finished the game with six straight points to get the 25-11 win.

"They are definitely walking on egg shells, and I'm not sure why," Adams said of her team. "They should have felt decently well about their game last night (against Christian Academy of Indiana). We did lose, so that's never fun coming back from, but confidence is definitely an issue with this team."

The Lady Pack made game three a better fight after the Lady Hawks again raced to a 4-0 lead. Valley made two errors, then Taylor Herbaugh killed to close the game to one, 5-4.

Valley scored the next six points, but Crawford County got three of those back and later closed the gap to two, 14-12, when sophomore Sara Stutzman blocked twice for kills. The Lady Pack fought to stay in the race, keeping to within two at 18-16. At that point, McCormick unleashed a barrage with three straight kills for a 21-16 advantage.

Crawford County got no closer from that point, and the Lady Hawks went home with the 25-18 win for the sweep.

"Valley, they definitely earned it tonight," Adams said. "They beat us. I'll give them that."

Stutzman led the Lady Pack with nine kills. The Lady Pack missed just two serves, but only delivered two aces, and had 21 errors.

"Maybe we'll do some more team-bonding activities," Adams said. "Maybe we'll do something to get them out of the rhythm of the norm and change things up. We try to do things in practice that make it fun, but, at the same time, maybe we need to do some things to get their confidence up."

McCormick led the Lady Hawks with 17 kills, and Montana Pendley had seven kills. Kennedy Land added five service aces for Springs Valley, who missed seven serves but punched in 11 aces.

"The minute I tell my blockers to go one way, she hit it the other," Adams said. "She's a great hitter. There's not a lot you can do with that We knew coming into it she was going to be a good hitter. She was last year. I give them those points. They earned those points. It's the ones that we make the mistakes on that make me mad. I keep telling them I'm tired of beating ourselves."

Despite the Lady Pack losing their last three matches, Adams said she still feels good about what the Lady Pack can do through the rest of the season.

"I have a lot of hope in this team," she said. "We have a lot of really good athletes. They can play anywhere and do anything. They just need to know that themselves. I can't be the only one telling them that. They've got to believe in themselves and each other."

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