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Mitchell stuns Lady Cats, Silver Creek ousts Crawford

Salem Sectional First Round

October 29, 2008
The North Harrison Lady Cats and the Crawford County Lady Pack found themselves on the outside looking in after their first-round Salem Volleyball Sectional matches against Mitchell and Silver Creek, respectively. Mitchell stunned North Harrison in four games, while the Lady Dragons of Silver dominated Crawford from beginning to end.


When the two teams took their warm-up periods, Mitchell came out quiet with an unimpressive session that made the Lady Bluejackets appear not so ready to play. North Harrison, meanwhile, came out noisy and appearing ready for the match to begin. When the first serve came, however, the switch flipped and Mitchell came out pounding and the Lady Cats lost on the floor.

North Harrison's Deidre Book tries unsuccessfully to get this tip by Mitchell's Allison Trevithick in the Lady Cats' three-game loss in the Salem Sectional. (Photos by Wade Bell)
"I stayed in the gym while (Mitchell) was warming up and Mitchell barely peeped a word while they were warming up," North Harrison coach Wes Briscoe said. "Our girls hit the floor, we were talking the whole time during warm-ups. We were focused. We were screaming and hollering, getting ourselves pumped up, and I think maybe we psyched ourselves out."

The Lady Cats were flat in the first two games and Mitchell took advantage, grabbing the early lead in game one and pushing to a 15-9 advantage. Deanna Whittinghill gave the Lady Cats a boost late in the game with three straight kills, pulling North Harrison within four, but a Lady Cat error gave the game to Mitchell in a 25-20 loss.

North Harrison seemed to have its game together in game two, going up 8-4, but Mitchell pushed back to go ahead 11-10 on a Lady Cat hitting error. North Harrison led again at 14-13 and went on to lead by four, 18-14, following a tip by Savannah Martin. The Lady Cats led until late in the game when Devon Hardman killed twice and Amanda Trambaugh tipped for a 24-23 Mitchell lead. Allison Trevithick tipped for the game-winner and the Lady Blue Jackets were up by two games.

"The start of the first game was, we basically didn't put the ball on the floor. Mitchell forced us to play defense really hard," Briscoe said. "When we came out, I thought we were moving our feet. Those points, I guess it shocked us a little bit because we had to work so hard. It's sectional volleyball. Nobody wants to go down. Maybe that zapped us from the beginning because our hitters didn't get the ball down on the ground the first game."

It appeared it was going to be all over for the Lady Cats in the third game as Mitchell took a 9-2 lead. This time, however, North Harrison would make the big rally, closing to within two following kills by Wynn Shroyer and Caitlyn Janes. North Harrison tied at 21, 23 and 24, and Whittinghill put the last two kills away for the 26-24 win.

The two teams swapped the lead early in the fourth, then Mitchell took over, going ahead 13-8. The Lady Cats stayed close, but failed to get quite the push they needed to get over the top as Mitchell took the 25-21 win to advance to the semi-finals.

"We couldn't play defense the way we needed to all night long in order to win," Briscoe said. "They just forced us to have to move and run after balls because we reached instead of moving our feet first. The game plan was really simple, but we didn't stick to it."

Angela Cassabella led North Harrison (19-9) with 12 kills, and Shroyer and Janes each had 10 kills.

Hardman led Mitchell with 24 kills, and Trevithick added nine.

"We talked about that since the sectional was over last year," Briscoe said. "I thought we were motivated tonight to not let one player beat us, and (Hardman) beat us. We couldn't stop her. Even when we prevented her from swinging, she was able to tip or roll the ball to the open spots."

"The way we prepared this week and the way we were when we got here, I thought we were ready to rewrite some history from last year," Briscoe said. "But it, unfortunately, didn't go that way."

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The Crawford County Lady Pack knew they would have a rough way to go in their first-round match against an experienced Lady Dragon team from Silver Creek.

Crawford County's Taylor Cox, right, slaps a shot over the outstretched hands of Silver Creek's Shirley Jones in the Lady Pack's first-round loss.
The Lady Dragons dominated the first two games with identical 25-8 wins. It wasn't until the third game that Crawford found some gears to work with to make things more interesting.

Crawford jumped out to a 4-1 lead, leaving the Silver Creek fans shaking their heads in wonder. The Lady Dragons tied the game back at 4 and at 5. Crawford then exploded for a four-point burst and a 9-5 lead. Silver Creek then took its turn for a rally that pushed the Lady Dragons back in front 10-9 following an ace by Mollie Hamilton. Taylor Cox killed for a Crawford point and another tie at 10.

Silver Creek finally grabbed a gear, with Lindsey Maymon killing for a point and drilling a pair of aces for a 19-14 Lady Dragon lead. That became the point of no return for the Lady Pack as Crawford failed to get another run to close and Silver Creek took the 25-16 win.

"I felt like in the third game, when we were able to use our injured player (Taylor Cox), when we switched back to a 6-2, is when we excelled," Crawford coach Danielle Trotter said. "She played very well and she's been a big hole that we've been missing with her injury."

"Due to the regular season game with them being our worst game of the year, we came in very much intimidated," she said. "We were focused and ready, but we didn't become determined we could win the game till the third."

Kristyn Maymon led Silver Creek with 10 kills and six service aces. Brittany Rayborn had eight kills, and Lindsey Maymon added seven.

Kim Holzbog led Crawford with three kills.

"Silver Creek is a young team, too, and we're young, and I just feel like they're healthier," Trotter said. "They're a great team, but we're just broken and unhealthy. I just feel like it would be a totally different feeling if we had (Kayla Parr) and Taylor in full form."

Trotter said she is already looking to next year to a team she believes will be very talented.

"We have our two juniors coming back who are great leaders," she said. "Our freshmen and sophomore are some of the most talented classes that we've had come through in a while. The more experience they get underneath their belts will in the next couple of years be wonderful to build this program on."

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