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Floyd skins Lady Wildcats

October 02, 2019
The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders earned their fifth straight win with a 3-1 victory over visiting Jasper last Monday night. Floyd Central was coming off playing in the Ultra Ankle Challenge tournament at New Albany in a four-match marathon.

Floyd Central's Kayden Holcomb (17) makes a defensive stop against Jasper's Reagan Egbert getting this block and she and Natalie Lostutter, left, put up a wall. Photo By Wade Bell
The Lady Highlanders then bounced back from a sluggish first two games to dominate for a 25-20, 22-25, 25-15, 25-12 win against Jasper.

"The teams that we've played have not been as good as Providence, which makes a little bit of a difference, but we definitely played with more confidence tonight," said Floyd Central coach Bart Powell.

The first game was strictly an offensive one with both teams fiercely attacking the net. There were six ties and four lead changes through the first 15 points until Jasper's Izzy Hopf erred and Keegan Kaiser aced on serve to give the Lady Highlanders a 10-7 lead. Jasper fought back to close the gap to one, 11-10, but Floyd Central followed that with two offensive runs for a 17-11 advantage. Jasper made a slight gain in the end, but the Lady Highlanders came away with the 25-20 win.

Jasper got some help at the beginning of game two when the Lady Highlanders had some errors. The Lady Wildcats put down three straight kills for a 5-2 edge. Two kills by Kayden Holcomb and a tip by Caroline Hilbrich tied the game at six. Floyd Central served into the net on its next side-out, then Jasper followed that with two offensive runs for a 15-9 lead.

Powell had a heart-to-heart with his team during a timeout. The Lady Highlanders later responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 20-all. That momentum came to an end as Floyd Central had four hitting errors, allowing the Lady Wildcats a 25-22 win.

"We're just not focused," said Powell. "We kind of went through the motions in the first set and won, and they would do the same thing in the second set. Jasper's record shows they're a serious program. Our serving was very good, thankfully, and our serving won us a lot of points. They gave us a lot of out-of-system balls."

Following the break, Floyd Central came back a much more determined team, racing out to an 8-1 lead to start game three. Jasper got one of those back on a missed Floyd Central serve, but the Lady Highlanders responded with three consecutive points. Floyd Central kept the Lady Wildcats at bay through the remainder of the game and went on to a 25-15 win. The Lady Highlanders dominated the fourth game as well by a 25-12 score to secure the match.

"I thought we were a little lackluster in the first two sets," said Powell. "I kind of jumped them a little bit, then we played two good sets. It's a young team that doesn't understand that they've got to show up every night. They should know that they have to show up every night, and sometimes we don't. Tonight, we righted the ship and played two good sets at the end."

Kyra Sharp and Natalie Lostutter led the Lady Highlanders with 13 kills each. Kayden Holcomb had a solid night with 12 kills, and Caroline Hilbrich finished with 10 kills and three aces. The Lady Highlanders missed seven serves, but delivered 10 service aces. Floyd Central had 17 errors for the four games.

"We served a lot out of system, and we were getting a lot of free stuff back," said Powell. "We should be able to put a ball away if we get free balls back. Lostutter had a lot of good swings. I'm not sure how many kills Natalie had, but I'm not sure they stopped her once all night. From that perspective, we did a pretty good job."

Floyd Central's bench also played well, adding nine kills and four service aces.

"I consider them as big of a part of the team as the ones who start," said Powell. "Ellie Boehnlein played a lot as a sophomore and a junior, and she's not playing a lot right now because these younger kids are pretty stinking good. Ellie is a good player. She does a great job for us. She's got a positive attitude through it all. Molly (Stoppert) has got a bad back, and I put her in there and it popped on her and I feel bad for that kid too because she's been hurt almost since day one of the season."

Reagan Egbert led the Lady Wildcats with 17 kills. Riley Merder punched seven kills and Caroline Kaiser had five kills. The Lady Wildcats finished with 25 errors for the match.

"This group is pretty good," Powell said. "This group, we're not top-10 but I think we can be by the end of the season. We had really good ball control on Saturday. We had really good ball control the third and fourth sets except for one pass. If we get the first touch, a lot of teams are going to struggle with us because we do have kids that can put the ball away."

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