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Perry upends Lady Pack in 4

September 16, 2009
In a match filled with big plays and long volleys, the visiting Perry Central Lady Commodores held on to top the Lady Pack of Crawford County in a Patoka Lake Athletic Conference match last Tuesday night.

Crawford County’s Violet Lumley stops Perry Central senior Olivia Schroeder from getting the ball across the net in game one, but the Lady Commodores went on to claim a four-game win. Photo by Wade Bell
"I can't be anymore proud of them, because they really laid it all out on the line," Crawford County coach Kim Allen said. "They gave it all they've got. It was just one or two bad choices.

"We're at 2-4; we could easily be sitting here at 5-1. We've had one legitimate loss, and that was to (Springs) Valley. We've been right there in it."

"For everything we've done, we've had to work for," Perry Central coach Becky Genet said. "I'm just glad my girls kept working and working. Towards the end, we've just been hitting all balls out and not doing very well. They completed three of those games tonight, so that was a plus."

Game one was a good example of how hard both teams fought. It featured 11 ties and four lead changes, with neither team leading by more than four points. In the end, it was Crawford County coming out the winner, 25-23.

"Our girls really went after them, and they really went after them that first game of the match," Allen said. "We lost a little bit of intensity, but then I was proud about how they came back in the second game, and we were just this close."

Perry Central, indeed, got the upper hand early in game two, exploding to an 11-2 advantage. Crawford County, however, chewed into the Lady Commodores' lead and closed within one, 19-18, after a tip by Brooke Howerton. Two Lady Pack mistakes pushed Perry Central in front by three, but Crawford County's Kim Holzbog killed for a point, then Perry's Olivia Schroeder hit into the net, cutting the Lady Commodore edge back to one. From there, however, the game belonged to Perry Central, who went on to win 25-20.

There were fewer question marks in the third game as the Lady Commodores dominated to a 25-15 win. Game four would be a different story, however.

Crawford County got the initial lead, but Perry Central matched each point then took the lead when Holzbog hit out of bounds. The Lady Commodores' lead went to four, 11-7, at one point when Jennifer Kemp aced on serve. Crawford County countered with four straight points and tied the game when Taylor Cox delivered a service ace.

Perry Central nosed in front again, but Crawford County came back to the game at 19. Following misfires by both teams, Cox aced again to push Crawford County in front. That lead lasted only briefly as the Lady Pack erred twice and Perry Central went back in front. A Lady Commodore misfire allowed one more tie at 22, but Perry Central controlled from that point on, as Schroeder tipped for the lead and Megan Hedinger got back-to-back kills for the match win, 25-22.

"This was a heartbreaker," Allen said. "This was the conference, and Perry always comes in here well-coached. Becky Genet's been there 30-some years. She was coach when I was playing. … They're always fundamentally sound."

"They picked the ball tremendously," Genet said of the Lady Pack. "I didn't expect them to dig up that much. I thought they picked the ball up very, very well. They made things happen. They played very well."

Holzbog led Crawford County with 10 kills, and Cox followed with seven kills and four service aces. Kayla Toney also had seven kills, and Crystal Allen finished with five kills. The Lady Pack missed nine serves, delivered six aces and finished with 39 errors.

"She played her heart out," Allen said of Holzbog. "She has really come a long way in working the front row. Her and Kayla Toney can play just really hard. They can hit the ball, and I know they can do it. They've just got to believe in themselves. Kim even does a good job on the back line."

Hedinger had a big night for the Lady Commodores, finishing with 16 kills. Jessica Huber hit for double digits, with 10 kills, and Olivia Schroeder had nine kills. Ashely Gengelbach added five kills. The Lady Commodores missed five serves but delivered seven aces. Perry Central finished with 37 errors.

"Sometimes she'd lose concentration," Genet said of Hedinger. "She doesn't always play smart. She did so much better tonight. She took control of the game."

"We have to talk," she said. "We just have to do a lot of run-throughs. We have to move to get to the ball. A lot of them start tipping on us, and and we have a little problem with that. They started tipping, and that's what people have done with us. We've been doing better at that, and we've just got to keep working on that."

Allen said her team can be a dangerous opponent.

"Their record doesn't show what kind of team they are because they are this close to being exceptional," she said. "I'm trying to instill in these girls I'm going to be their biggest cheerleader.

"They've got to look at themselves and know that they can do it. … They've got the ability. They've just got to believe in themselves and overcome," she said.

"When things were getting a little close, they had this blank look. I've got to have two or three girls that can step up and say, 'Girls, shake this off. We're going to go on from here, and we're going to get it.' "

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