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Crawford County's Kayla Parr (front) and Amanda Toney both hit the deck as they dig up this ball against Salem. The Lady Pack won in a five-game decision. (Photos by Wade Bell)

Lady Pack stop Salem for first win

September 10, 2008
After losing its first three matches of the new season, the Crawford County volleyball team nabbed its first win in a five-game shoot-out over visiting Salem in the Ron Ferguson Gymnasium Tuesday night.

"It feels great," first-year Crawford coach Danielle Trotter said. "They're really young. We've only got two seniors, right now. There's only three girls with varsity experience, and to get some of those girls that first win under their belts gives them a boost of confidence to do it. I think it will be a great help the rest of our season."

It was a neck-and-neck beginning for both teams in game one until the Lady Pack got four straight points for a 12-7 lead. Salem bounced back to tie the game at 12 but then committed two errors. Shelbie Stephenson killed for a point and Crawford hit out of bounds, the game tied at 14. From that point, however, it was all Crawford. Salem committed six straight hitting errors, then the Lady Pack's Kim Holzbog slapped in a kill. The Lady Lions then committed another error, and Crawford's lead was 22-14. The Lady Pack went on for a 25-19 win.

Salem's Cora Carter fails to get this spike by Crawford's Kayla Toney in game one. "She is tremendous on the net when it comes to blocking and getting the touches for us," coach Danielle Trotter said.
Game two was just the opposite. Salem came out smoking for a 7-2 lead. Crawford slowly worked its way back into the game as Kayla Parr punched in three straight kills to tie the game at 12. After swapping points, Kayla Toney blocked for a kill and a 15-13 Crawford lead. Salem, however, came back to lead following a kill by Cora Carter. Crawford stumbled from that point, and the Lady Lions took the game, 25-18.

"I think it's a little lack of experience, but we're getting there," Trotter said. "They have a tendency to let up, and we're going to keep working on that, but our inconsistency is from a lack of experience."

Crawford was more dominate in game three, grabbing an early lead and going on for a 25-16 win.

Crawford led early in game four, as well, but the Lady Lions took advantage of some late Crawford errors and came back for a 26-24 win, sending the match into a game five decider.

"We really struggled on our front row a little bit tonight," Trotter said. "I told them to hit the holes, and in games one and two they were really hitting those holes. I told them to play smarter, not harder, hit the holes and make them work for it. The problem we had was whenever they picked up the holes, we quit hitting and we kept pushing for them to hit. That's where we finished up in game five, where they picked up that hitting."

Parr tipped for the first point of the final game, but Salem worked the net a little better and came back for a 5-2 lead. Taylor Cox and Holzbog pulled Crawford back within one, then two Salem errors gave Crawford a 6-5 edge. Cox added to that with another kill, but the Lady Pack then committed two errors, the game tied at 7.

Parr slapped in a shot, then Salem hit short. The Lady Pack got some breathing room when Holzbog and Parr hit back-to-back kills for an 11-7 lead. From that point, Crawford controlled to go on for the 15-9 win.

"I was excited coming in," Trotter said. "We came through 0-3 and played three tough teams. They came out of the last game with Springs Valley playing very well and then they pushed through tonight. Now, we've just got to work on staying more consistent."

Holzbog led the winners with 16 kills, and Toney and Parr punched in 11 kills each. Cox finished with five kills. Serving, however, was a problem for the Lady Pack, who missed 15 while getting in eight aces. Crawford's inexperience also showed in its 45 errors.

"Kim (Holzbog) especially was tearing them up between the middle tip and the right tip," Trotter said. "She would turn and look at me every timeout, and I would instruct her in which way to go. She did a real good job. Then, she came in in game five and started attacking the ball.

"Kayla (Toney) is a real consistent blocker for us. She is tremendous on the net when it comes to blocking and getting the touches for us. It's something we've not had in the past, and between Holzbog and Toney, that's something we've got that really helps us with our defense. We're able to cover the floor properly because a big coverage on the floor is their coverage on block. They do a great job getting there."

Despite the 11 kills, Trotter said Parr struggled in her hitting and needs to learn to make adjustments.

"She gets to where she gets underneath the ball and hits out of bounds," the Crawford coach said. "She hits great from the back row because she gets the ball in front of her. In game five, I told her, 'It's not working for you. Just tip the ball and find the holes on the tips.' She turned and did that for us. We're working with her on that outside. She's wanting to get underneath of it instead of attacking it from ahead."

Carter led the Lady Lions with 13 kills, and Stephenson finished with six kills. Tressie Barrett and Taylor Eastridge had three kills each. Salem missed just seven serves, but had just four aces. The Lady Lions made 46 errors.

Trotter said Crawford's next goal is to learn to attack better at the net.

"We need to work on our net play," she said. "We had too much play within the 10-foot line. I don't want to start hitting their back and pushing it back there."

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