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North Harrison senior Wynn Shroyer gives a valiant effort for a ball during a tight second game against Corydon Central. (Photos by Brian Smith)

Volleyball battle goes to Lady Panthers

October 08, 2008
Sectional volleyball isn't too far away, but the Corydon-North battle on Oct. 30 gave a preview of post-season play – plenty of spirited ovations, grueling effort and a few objections to calls from the official's platform.

This time, the rivalry went to Corydon Central. A huge momentum swing in game three sealed a Corydon Central three game sweep over rival North Harrison on Oct. 30, 25-15, 27-25, 25-14.

"There was drama, too many questionable calls, but I don't think it was the difference in the match," Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said. "I don't think North played a very good match. But last year, we went to North and played the worst volleyball in my life. So, I know how they feel."

Caitlyn Janes passes a ball forward against Corydon Central last Tuesday.
The Lady Panthers dominated game one from the start. An eight-point swing gave Corydon Central a 16-7 lead they would eventually carry to the end of a speedy game one.

In game two, the Lady Panthers erupted with five straight points to take an early lead. Two Jessica Giuffre kills led the early charge. Despite the run, North Harrison battled back. They chipped away at the lead, eventually taking the lead at 13-12 behind a pair of Brianna Kiesler aces.

North Harrison pushed the lead to 17-14 with a Angela Casabella kill, their largest of the game. Winners from Pam Cockerell and Amanda Rothrock led Corydon Central back, to take a 18-17 lead.

From there, the two teams engaged in a see-saw battle. Giuffre served an ace to give the Lady Panthers a 25-24 lead and their first game point. A Corydon Central hitting miscue returned the game to a tie.

On the next point, confusion set in the gym. Corydon Central's Jenna Keinsley sent down an attack that was dug out by North Harrison. The ball then hit a basketball rim over the playing court. The referee's whistle blew when the ball made contact with the rim, initially giving the point to Corydon Central. After a lengthy dispute from North Harrison coach Wes Briscoe, the call was correctly overturned.

However, the do over didn't work out for North Harrison. A service error followed, followed by Keinsley serving and ace to give the second game to the Lady Panthers.

"We didn't come to play tonight," Wes Briscoe, the son of Corydon's coach, said. "We had to play from behind all night except game three. We had a six point lead and our heart wasn't there tonight. We couldn't step up."

In game three, North Harrison came out firing. Kills from Caitlyn Janes, Wynn Shroyer and Casabella gave North Harrison a quick 10-4 lead.

Yet with the big lead, Corydon Central came out of a time out with a furious run. They streaked to a 12-1 run, taking a commanding 16-11 lead. Six of the 12 points came off Lady Cat errors.

"I think that this is the first time I've seen the competitive fire in their hearts," Kim Briscoe said. "When we were down six points, that competitor came out and that is what you look for."

Corydon Central went on to cruise in game three, capped by a Cockerell smash. The win was Corydon Central's sixth in a row.

Kim Briscoe credited Rothrock, the team's setter with keeping the team together as a leader.

"I guess my most elation is my setter played better than anyone on the court," she said. "She served well, kept the offense going and she didn't get down. She had the most consistent performance for us."

North Harrison pushed the Lady Panthers, serving the ball deep, attempting to stay away from Corydon Central's power game. Rothrock was able to set the ball several times from the back row to keep the offense going.

"There weren't many times tonight where they were just pounding the ball on us," Wes Briscoe said. "We were able to offset their offense with our serve. Their setter did a nice job pushing their offense. We did our job shutting down some of their best hitters but we made too many errors."

North Harrison hosts Austin at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday while Corydon Central will play in the Heritage Hills Invitational on Saturday at 10 a.m.

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