October 02, 2019Both the Crawford County Lady Pack and South Central volleyball teams entered their match with a little adversity Thursday night in Ron Ferguson Gymnasium.
The Lady Rebels were coming into the match with two tough losses. Crawford County had a setback by the loss of junior Autumn (Patsy) Schigur the night before against Tell City. South Central had the better games in the beginning, but Crawford County finished stronger, getting a 3-1 win over the Lady Rebels.
Crawford County's Sarah Stutzman and Haylea Crandall collides on this return in the second game of the Lady Pack's win over South Central. Photo By Wade Bell
"This was actually a nice kind of comeback to bounce back," said South Central coach Amanda Sims. "We've worked on a lot of things in practice. Definitely serve-receive was what killed us the last couple of games, so they came out really strong in serve-receive tonight. I was really proud of the efforts that they've made since our last game and match."
"The girls, it's starting to become fun to watch them," said Crawford County coach Julie Adams. "It's late in the season, but we're getting there. I think they just need to keep working hard and we'll do all right."
The two teams rumbled through the first part of game one, then Crawford County had its first offensive run for a 10-6 lead. Kaylee Logsdon had a kill for the Lady Rebels to stop the run, but the Lady Pack later made an 11-0 run to lead 23-8. South Central managed just two more points as Crawford County got the 25-10 win.
"I know a couple of girls were getting discouraged after getting blocked or tipped on blocks and we weren't getting the best passes and sets to them," Adams said. "Overall, the girls were playing very well. We played a late game over at Tell City to five and won that, so we came off that win and I think that helped."
The lights then went on for the Crawford County machine in game two. The Lady Pack had a slight edge through the opening points of the second set. Treasure Nickelson and Lexie Fraime killed for points and a hitting violation called on South Central gave Crawford County an 8-5 edge. South Central later charged back with a 3-0 burst: Alyssa Pumphrey acing on serve, Logsdon hitting for two kills and Crawford County with two errors for an 12-9 South Central advantage. That lead later went to five on two Lady Pack errors. Crawford County later cut the gap to two, but South Central held on at the end for a 25-22 win.
"We just have a tendency to lose game two," Adams said. "Always, it always happens. I don't know why. Our momentum should still be the same. It's just not ... Our girls are the type like anyone: 'when I get blocked, do I tip, do I hit? I don't want to get blocked again.' So, we play a lot more timid that way, but I still think we played very smart tonight."
"We really focused on our passing in practice the last couple of times because we've struggled on serve-receive and having nice passes," Sims said. "So, I was really proud in that."
Crawford County came out a different team in game three and immediately raced out to a 6-1 advantage. After South Central closed the game back to three, Crawford County made another run to lead by nine following a kill by Haylea Crandall. South Central never gained any traction, and Crawford County got the 25-15 win.
Crawford County jumped out to a 5-1 lead to begin game four, but this time South Central fought back, closing the gap to one, 6-5, following a service ace by Brooklyn Lewis. Desirae Puckett then fired off three Lady Pack kills to put the Lady Pack up by four, 10-6. South Central continued to stay in striking distance, at one point closing Crawford County's advantage to three, 12-9, following a Crawford County hitting error.
Crawford County fired off another barrage with Crandall getting two service aces for an 18-11 Lady Pack advantage. The Lady Pack kept the Lady Rebels in check the remainder of the game and went on to get a 25-15 game and match win.
"Tonight made me feel a lot better because, if we can keep our hitters hitting, I know we have some amazing hitters," said Sims. "When the ball is up and they're in the right positions, they can really find some holes and really get it down pretty well. I feel good. We have a few days to go back to practice and really work on our hitting."
"I've seen a lot of change in the last three years," Sims said. "Passing has been our biggest struggle so, to see the girls come together tonight, they did a really nice job. So, I'm anticipating good things through the rest of the season."
"Overall, they played well," said Adams. "Even with our rotations, like Lexie; Lexie is great. She can play outside. She can play right side. She can play wherever I need her to."
Nickelson led the Lady Pack with 16 kills and two service aces. Sarah Stutzman had 11 kills and two aces, and Crandall finished with seven kills and two aces. Crawford County missed only four serves and delivered nine aces. The Lady Pack finished with 18 errors on the night.
Adams said the team missed Schigur's aggressiveness, especially on defense.
"Three of us have to make up for her," Adams said. "I think they've realized all the way around that Patsy did cover, especially on the back row. Patsy wasn't the strongest hitter. She played timid hitting, but I knew what she was capable of. We have people who can help replace those shoes and fill the voids where we're at."
Adams said sophomore Desirae Puckett did a good job of filling those shoes.
"Last night she did as well," said Adams. "She's going to be a big help for us without Patsy."
Logsdon led South Central with 10 kills, and Kendall Miller fired in nine. Pumphrey had six kills and two aces. The Lady Rebels missed just three serves and delivered seven aces. South Central had 42 errors for the four games.
"They're my strongest hitters," Sims said of Logsdon and Miller. "They're my middle hitters. They can usually cut corners. They can usually do a lot. Miller, there at the end, just couldn't find the court. Even with pushes, usually she is on the mark on those things. She's usually really good at finding the holes, and she is my best. So, it really hurt us in the end. Some girls just have off nights and, unfortunately, it was just at the wrong time for us."
"They had a couple of really good hitters that they fought with the ball against us tonight, but I think our defense held up and, overall, I was very impressed," Adams said.