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Lady Pack fall to Northeast Dubois

Crawford County's Kim Holzbog, top, snuffs out this spike attempt by Northeast Dubois' Nicole Dodd in the first game of the Lady Jeeps' four-game win.
August 26, 2009
The Crawford County Lady Pack volleyball team fell in its season-opener to visiting Northeast Dubois in a four-game battle that saw as many bruises as points.

"They played tough," Crawford County coach Kim Allen said. "They played tough right to the bitter end. Other than the first game of the match, we were with them the next three. That should tell them that they can play with anybody. What we've got to do is play the game to 25 and not play the game to 18, 20 and then let all these little bitty mistakes creep up and lose the game."

Nerves are not uncommon in a season-opener and they were evident as the Lady Pack fell behind in game one and eventually lost 25-10.

In the second game, however, Crawford County played tougher, leading through the first half until a pair of errors put the Lady Jeeps in front. Crawford County hung close until the end, but Dubois came out on tops as Stephanie Kuper killed for the 25-21 win.

"The second game was within our reach," Allen said.

Crawford County bounced back in game three to lead 6-1. Once again, Dubois fought its way back to lead 12-11, with Kuper again killing to put the Lady Jeeps in front. This time, however, Crawford County got kills from Kim Holzbog and Crystal Allen to take back the lead.

At that point, the game stayed within three points until Crawford County hit short, allowing a 20-all tie. The Lady Jeeps then committed three hitting errors to push the Lady Pack in front, 23-21. Taylor Hasenour killed to pulled Dubois back within one, but on the next sideout the Lady Jeeps misfired on serve. Hasenour killed again, pulling the Lady Jeeps within one again, but on the next possession Dubois hit into the net to give Crawford County the 25-23 win.

"I've told the girls the last few weeks, 'Don't let a ball drop. Go for it. I don't care that you've got three or four bodies on the floor, go for the ball,' " Allen said. "If we're going to lose, we're going to lose on some of these little areas we're going to improve on. I don't want us to lose a game because of lack of effort."

"I think my girls may have let up a little bit," Dubois coach Dan Lechner said. "That fourth game, I told them, 'We've got to come back out there and give it that all again.' You always expect that. If it's a good team, and Crawford is a good team, I think they're always going to fight back."

The two teams battled back and forth early in game four, then the Lady Jeeps went on a killing spree in a 7-2 run for a 12-7 lead. Crawford County rallied to tie the game at 13, but Dubois made a late run as the Lady Pack seemed to tire to win the final game, 25-20.

"We can't make some of these silly mistakes, and we've got to anticipate," Allen said. "I told the girls, 'It's not a matter of being slow to get to the ball. It's just a matter of anticipating where the ball goes.'

"I try to tell them that every practice that we have we're taking baby steps forward," Lechner said. "At yesterday's practice, I felt that we took three big steps forward. I think tonight is another step. We just want to continue to focus and work hard and go out there and compete and play the best that we can."

Lindsey Cate led Crawford County with five kills, and Holzbog, Allen, Taylor Cox and Kayla Toney had four kills each. The Lady Pack missed five serves to go along with five service aces and committed 36 errors.

"I've told these girls all along that we can hit the ball with anybody if we can go and pass the ball, because you've got to get the good pass before you can get a good set before you can get a hit," Allen said. "Sometimes we got caught watching the ball. Even our setters sometime got caught watching the ball, and we don't get to the net quick enough. Those are just things you've got to work on."

Hasenour and Kuper led Dubois with 15 kills each. Nicole Dodd had eight kills, and Madison Rasche followed with six kills. The Lady Jeeps missed eight serves, had eight aces and committed 35 errors.

"Taylor Hasenour, she's a senior for me and one of my captains," Lechner said. "She's a great leader. She's becoming very smart. Every game and every day of practice that I see her, she seems to step it up a notch. (Kuper's) a senior as well. She's played middle for us, and she's done a great job. I expect great things from her, too."

Allen said her team has the potential to have a good year.

"I told the girls, 'Don't get discouraged,' " she said. "All these mistakes we're going to correct. They're smart girls. I didn't have to tell them where the areas they had to improve on. They know it. I think they'll be fine."

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