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Borden rally bests NH

September 01, 2010
The North Harrison Lady Cat volleyball team looked like it was headed toward a three-game sweep last Tuesday night against visiting Borden, but the Lady Braves rallied from two games down for a five-game win to drop the Lady Cat season record to 0-3.

North Harrison senior Halle Jacobi, left, snuffs out this spike attempt by Borden’s Erika Frascella in game one, but the Lady Braves rallied from two games down to get a 3-2 match win. Photo by Wade Bell
"This team, as far as the outlook for the season, it's really early and it's hard to pinpoint how good we're going to be," North Harrison coach Wes Briscoe said. "Halle (Jacobi) and Amanda (Hartley) are really the only two with varsity experience we have. When you graduate so many over the course of two years, you're still looking for a lot of pieces to the puzzle to put together. All of those pieces are in the locker room. The girls just don't understand how they fit together yet."

The two teams went through a tug of war throughout game one until two Borden mistakes gave North Harrison a 23-19 lead. The first sign that the Lady Braves weren't going to panic, however, came when Borden made a 5-1 burst to tie the game at 24. The next two points went to the Lady Cats, giving North Harrison the first-game win.

Borden then raced to a 7-2 lead in game two, but the Lady Cats showed they could keep their cool as well, rallying to lead 8-7. The game stayed tight until Rebekah Stephenson scored on a kill to start a 4-1 burst for a 19-13 North Harrison lead. The Lady Cats kept their distance and went on to win, 25-18, for a 2-0 advantage in the match.

"We've got probably more size than we've had consistently across the net and athletic ability than we've had in a while," Briscoe said. "But we're young. We've got a couple of freshmen and a sophomore. We've got a few juniors, and we've only got three seniors this year. Again, two seniors with any real playing experience. Everybody else is just a handful of players that have moved up can play JV."

The momentum switched in game three with Borden leading almost the entire game, trailing only when North Harrison's Kendra Lambert aced on serve for a 3-2 lead. The Lady Braves quickly came back from that and went on for a 25-19 win.

"In games one and two that we won, we didn't come out prepared to win those games," Briscoe said. "We were able to get a run. Borden's got some injuries and they were playing inconsistent, but they're a good squad. They scrap and they didn't make mistakes. They won the game because we played too passive. We didn't play to win. We tried to play not to lose."

The Lady Cats grabbed a 3-0 lead in game four, but Borden rallied quickly to tie. Jacobi got two kills to push the Lady Cats back out front, but Borden then made a big charge to roar to a 12-6 lead. Amber Longest later pulled North Harrison to within one, 19-18, on a service ace, but Borden scored the remaining six points to win 25-18. Borden's confidence remained high in game three as the Lady Braves completed the rally with a 15-11 win for the match.

"We don't understand how to win yet, and I guess that's the fun thing about the season and how it's going to continue, because, once we figure it out, it could be really, really fun to watch," Briscoe said. "The pieces of the puzzle are here. We've just got to put the thing together."

Jacobi led North Harrison with 17 kills, and Brooke Lamon added seven. Emily Giles had four kills, and Hartley had four service aces. North Harrison missed four serves and had nine aces but also had 60 errors.

"It's just a matter of growing and learning the game and basically just taking what we're learning in practice and applying it just like anything else they study in school or they go and work," Briscoe said. "We're not doing what we're doing in practices and showing on the court right now."

Brandi Peed led Borden with nine kills, and Allison Rodemacher had eight kills and four aces. Crystal Lackey had six kills, and Leslie Beatty and Brooklyn Koetter had four kills each. Borden missed six serves and had 11 aces. Errors were also a problem for the Lady Braves, who finished with 51.

"Amanda Hartley has been the only vocal person for us this first week and a half of the season when we've actually been playing," Briscoe said of the senior. "She gets real hard on herself, but she's doing as good of job as she can. That poor girl, she's probably played every position in four years that she's played for me."

"We really don't have that leadership on the team yet, but I don't believe anybody has the word 'quit' in them on our team, so we're going to fight," he said. "Eventually, we're going to start surprising people. I just hope the girls realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

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