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Lady Cats sweep through Corydon Invitational

September 17, 2008
North Harrison continued its hot play on the volleyball court, sweeping through the competition at the Corydon Invitational Saturday.

In the championship game, the Lady Cats knocked off county rival Corydon Central, 25-12, 26-24. The win over the Lady Panthers capped off four wins on the day, all without dropping a single game.

"This is the first time the school has won this tournament, which is an excellent achievement for the girls," North Harrison coach Wes Briscoe said.

He said his team is playing its best volleyball at the moment, carrying a 15-match winning streak after the Invitational.

"We haven't been playing the best teams, but Corydon is one that won sectional last year," Briscoe said. "This is their tournament, and I'm really proud of how our girls fought all day. I wish we would have had the same result in game two (against Corydon Central) as we had in game one. Game one was a pretty good showing of how we played in this tournament all day long. We played pretty consistent, powerful and quick volleyball."

North Harrison wasted no time in the championship game to take it to Corydon Central. The Lady Panthers were off their mark for most of the first game while North Harrison took full advantage.

Wynn Shroyer served an ace on the line, followed by a Angela Casabella block to give the Lady Cats a 10-5 lead, forcing a Lady Panther time out. Casabella continued her stellar play at the net in the opening game, adding another winning block and a pair of kills. With a 15-8 advantage, Corydon Central made its only run of the first game, winning three consecutive points before North Harrison began another roll.

Deanna Whittinghill and Caitlyn Janes led the Lady Cats to a 10-1 run away with the opening game. Shroyer dominated the last four points with four kills.

"We got down to Tell City 19-12 and fought back to win," Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said about her team's play before struggling in the championship. "But we've done the same thing all day long. We would play a while and rest a while and then coast for a while. We're not intense, we're not talking, and this team has a tendency for no one to step up. When we decide to do all that, we're going to be all right."

North Harrison continued its strong all-around performance in the second game. Starting strong was the key once again. At one point, Whittinghill served three aces, helping the Lady Cats get out to a 10-5 advantage.

Corydon Central didn't go away. The Lady Panthers took advantage of a lull in the North Harrison play to win six consecutive points and take a 16-14 lead.

Out of a North Harrison time-out, both teams exchanged leads until Whittinghill served another ace for a 23-20 lead. Corydon Central fired back with a Jessica Giuffre kill and two Meghan Bussabarger kills to eventually retake the lead at 24-23.

North Harrison didn't waver, hustling to three straight points, a Shroyer kill, a Janes ace and a Corydon Central miscue, to win.

"I always thought we matched up well with Corydon because they have taller girls that can leap better than ours," Wes Briscoe said. "But we are a really smart team that understands the system that we're working on. Right now, we are seeing a lot of success with it."

The win was big for the program, but the North Harrison coach said the team still has bigger goals it is trying to reach. By knocking off the defending sectional champions, confidence toward those goals will certainly increase.

North Harrison and Corydon Central went through pool play of the eight-team event undefeated. The Lady Cats beat Austin, Rock Creek and Meade County (Ky.), while Corydon Central defeated New Washington, Tell City and Evansville Reitz.

Kim Briscoe said her team is one of the most athletic she has coached, but is working to strengthen the mental side of the game.

"We're not half way through the season and we've got a lot of growing up to do and we probably will," she said. "They are just a group of kids that come to the varsity ranks and realize just how hard they have to play yet."

Pool Play

A Corydon Central def. New Washington 25-16, 25-13; Corydon Central def. Tell City 19-25, 25-11, 25-23; Corydon Central def. Evansville Reitz 25-16, 25-12; New Washington def. Tell City 24-26, 25-20, 25-20; New Washington def. Evansville Reitz 25-20, 25-21; Evansville Reitz def. Tell City 30-28, 25-23.

B North Harrison def. Austin 25-15, 25-18; North Harrison def. Rock Creek 25-12, 25-7; North Harrison def. Meade County (Ky.) 25-20, 28-26; Austin def. Rock Creek 25-22, 25-22; Austin def. Meade County (Ky.) 15-25, 25-18, 25-20; Meade County (Ky.) def. Rock Creek 20-25, 25-3, 15-8.

Championship North Harrison def. Corydon Central 25-12, 26-24; Third Place New Washington def. Austin 25-12; Fifth Place Evansville Reitz def. Meade County (Ky.) 17-25, 26-24, 25-14; Seventh Place Tell City def. Rock Creek 25-14, 25-20.

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