Lady Cats roll over wounded Crawford
October 22, 2008
With this week's volleyball sectional tournament, the North Harrison Lady Cats will take the momentum of a final season win over visiting Crawford County into their Thursday night opening match against Mitchell at Salem.
"Our last couple of weeks has just been a roller coaster ride as far as consistency goes," North Harrison coach Wes Briscoe said. "Some nights we'll come out and play a team really well and do thing fundamentally correct all the way through. Some nights we can't come out and play anything and do anything right. The last two nights against Lanesville and Crawford, we were able to work on those things and fine-tune some areas and climb back up the mountain again."
Dealing with having two injured starters and a host of youngsters playing in situations they're not used to, Crawford coach Danielle Trotter said it's back to basics for her team.
"As crazy as it sounds, we're going into our sectional tournament and we're going to work on fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals, until we get it right," she said. "This team could be great if they just use proper forms, but they're still using still bad forms. The program's just not strong enough yet, so we're going to go into the sectional working on fundamentals."
Crawford's youth showed early in game one, with the Lady Pack committing five hitting errors as the Lady Cats took an 8-2 lead. North Harrison's dominance continued during the game as the Lady Cats rolled to a 25-10 win.
"My girls have really been working on breaking their bad habits when it comes to their spiking and passing," Trotter said. "They're having trouble putting that into a game."
North Harrison got an early 4-0 lead in game two, but the Lady Pack fought back and closed to one, 7-6, following an ace by Brooke Howerton. Crawford then committed six straight errors, allowing the Lady Cats a 12-6 lead. At that point it was all North Harrison, who went on for the 25-16 win.
Briscoe said some inefficiencies in his team's hitting allowed Crawford to put up some effective blocking in the game, keeping the game closer than he wanted.
"The blocks they were getting on us was because we weren't going, we weren't really attacking the ball at an angle," he said. "We were swinging straight down through the ball, and a lot of the blocks they got were because we were hitting straight into the block."
"It's OK to tip, but we did tip a lot and that's basically because we felt like we were getting blocked," he said. "We weren't getting ourselves into the position to play the way we should when we were swinging. So, that's another thing we've got to work on."
North Harrison worked to put game three away early, running out to an 8-1 lead. Crawford fought to stay in the game, forcing several long volleys to score points, but the Lady Pack's hole was deep enough to keep Crawford from gaining any ground. The last volley of the match turned into the longest of the night, as Crawford battled to keep the ball in play. Caitlyn Janes finished with a tip, however, and North Harrison had the three-game win.
"Tonight, we weren't moving our feet on defense very well," Briscoe said. "That was obvious to anybody. We were reaching with one arm after a bunch of balls."
Trotter said her young girls showed little intimidation against the much more experienced Lady Cats.
"They're just so broken right now from all they've went through this year as a team," she said. "We've got one girl in a boot and one girl that's been in a car accident. We've had to pull up one senior, two juniors and the rest are underclassmen. They're just inexperienced and broken."
Angela Cassabella led the winners with 10 kills, and Janes had six kills. Wynn Shroyer finished with five service aces and three kills, and Vicky Summers had five kills. North Harrison missed six serves and had just 11 hitting errors. The Lady Cats delivered 10 aces for the three games. It was the last home match for seniors Shroyer, Becca Dean and Savannah Martin.
"It's going to be tough to see all three of them go," Briscoe said. "Becca (Dean) has been around for four years, and Savannah came out her junior year and she's worked hard to get to where she's at, too. It's going to be sad to see them go, but we've still hopefully got a whole sectional to play with them."
Kim Holzbog led Crawford with eight kills, and Kayla Toney finished with six kills. Crawford missed just five serves in the three games, but had just four aces. Errors were the main problem with the Lady Pack, who committed 39.
"Lindsey Cate, we had to move up after KP's (Kayla Parr) wreck," Trotter said. "She has played excellent. There's just things to her game we're needing to adjust along with rest of the team. She will be an awesome player. She just hangs with it."
Trotter was glad to see team not giving up at the end and instead hanging on during the last long volley.
"I think they have desire, but I think they could pull more passion out of themselves," she said.
Crawford meets Silver Creek Thursday night in the Salem Sectional following North Harrison's match against Mitchell.
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