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Floyd sloshes past Lady Olympians

September 30, 2009
The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders earned a four-game win over visiting Columbus East last Tuesday night, but it wasn't the kind of impressive play they have been known for this season. Instead, it was a match that left coach Bart Powell just feeling lucky to come away with a "W."

"It wasn't anything we haven't seen," Powell said after the match. "It was, we weren't reacting to balls. We weren't moving our feet. We weren't being aggressive swinging."

Floyd Central’s Jordan Owens goes high against two Columbus East defenders in the third game of the Lady Highlanders’ four-game win. Photo by Wade Bell
Floyd Central had trouble getting away from the Lady Olympians in the opening game, but the Lady Highlanders then got their hammers going as Kirsten Kemppainen and Jennifer Smith opened up a 12-7 lead. The run continued to 16-7 until Brittany Housel stopped it with a scoring kill. Columbus East never regained any kind of footing, however, and Floyd Central went on to win the game, 25-12.

It appeared the Lady Highlanders also were going to run away with game two, blasting out to a 14-7 lead. The Lady Olympians, however, then got three straight kills from freshman Sara Bean and Housel. That started a momentum shift as Colum-bus East rallied to lead 18-17. Laura Der killed for Floyd Central and an error by Ellyn Jones put the Lady Highlanders up by one. Bean and Mallory Loyd killed to put Columbus East back in front. From there, the Lady Olympians held on for the 25-23 win.

"I've talked all season about not letting up," Powell said. "You beat a team 25-12, and we just let up. We can't do that against a pretty decent opponent. Then, we got a little frustrated. When the frustration showed up, I firmly believe I'm not going to call timeout and get them out of it. They're going to get themselves out of it, and they did. I didn't do much coaching."

Columbus East led much of game three as Floyd Central continued to struggle. A kill by Alicia Gosney allowed the Lady Olympians an 11-6 lead, but Floyd Central pushed its way back into the game as Smith slapped a kill to pull the Lady Highlanders within two at 14-12. Housel and Jones, however, countered with kills to keep the Lady Olympians in front by four, 17-13.

Floyd Central finally got a foothold when Smith killed and Kemppainen aced twice on serve. Engle added another kill, and the Lady Highlanders had a 23-21 lead. Columbus East came back to within one following a Floyd Central error, but Melanie Stutzman finished off the game with a tipping kill for the 25-23 win.

"We tried to spread things around, and when things do get close, I usually call numbers for people," Powell said. "I try to let them sort it out on their own."

The Lady Highlanders played more like themselves in game four after Colum-bus East led early. Jordan Owens had back-to-back blocks to give Floyd Central a 9-7 edge. Owens killed again following a Floyd Central error, then sisters Jennifer and Erica Smith pounded in the next three points for a 13-8 Lady Highlander lead. From there, the game was all Floyd Central, who went on to dominate, 25-18, for the match.

"In game four, I think, the score was 20-10 at one point, so we were just coasting through that a little bit," Powell said. "Really, we played the first part of game four like we did in game one."

Jennifer Smith had a good night, swatting in 17 kills to lead the Lady Highlanders. Der finished with 13 kills and three service aces, while Owens finished with 11 kills. Stutz-man had six kills and three aces, while Kemppainen had six kills and two aces. Erica Smith finished with four kills. The Lady Highlanders missed four serves, delivered 11 aces and committed 14 errors.

"(Owen's) had a couple of good kills, and then Erica Smith came in and had a couple of good kills," Powell said. "Jennifer was pretty good all night. They couldn't stop her. We just didn't get her the ball enough."

Kreigha Henney led Columbus East with 16 kills, and Loyd had 10 kills. Gosney and Housel had eight kills each. Sarah Bean and Jones finished with seven and six kills, respectively. The Lady Olympians misfired 19 times and missed six serves. Colum-bus East had just five aces on serve.

"They were living on energy every second," Powell said of the Lady Olympians. "That's something we did against Assumption, so we beat them game one like that. Then, we just totally shut down."

Powell said he didn't have to say much after the match, as his players knew they could have played much better.

"They were pretty disgusted with themselves," he said. "Defensively, we didn't play very well at all. Tonight, the block was absolutely horrible. We kind of got it fixed at the end. There was a lot of soft stuff off the block we didn't pick up. You live and you learn, and we're going to learn."

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