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Lanesville wins 5-game slugfest with Lady Cats

September 19, 2012
The Lanesville Lady Eagles outlasted the host Lady Cats of North Harrison Thursday night in a volleyball slugfest, winning the tight, five-game marathon that lasted more than two hours. In the end, it came down to who wanted it most.

"I really talked to the girls about wanting it," North Harrison coach Alexis Speer said. "You've got to want it. I can't make them want it. I'm over there screaming my head off. I went through two bottles of water going crazy over there, jumping up and down."

North Harrison junior Kendra Lambert, center, pounds this shot past Lanesville’s Robyn Schoen (12) and Hannah Conder in Lanesville’s five-game win over the Lady Cats. Lambert finished with 10 kills. Photo Wade Bell
"They really wanted this game, and I think it was the way they played," Lanesville coach Brittney Gayhart said of her team. "I've got six seniors on my team. I'm loaded this year. Having seniors out there to lead the team, even with some younger players on there, really reflects on the play that they have and the game that they have."

The teams handily split the first two games. Lanesville got the game one win, 25-17, and the Lady Cats put away the Lady Eagles, 25-18, in game two, but from that point things got interesting.

North Harrison took the momentum from its game two win into game three for a 5-0 lead. Lanesville quickly cut the deficit to one, 7-6. The Lady Cats held on to their lead until Robyn Schoen killed to start a 5-0 run, with Hannah Conder punching in three service aces. North Harrison later led by one again, but the Lady Eagles came back to get the win, 25-23.

Game four saw 10 ties and four lead changes. North Harrison led 9-7, but the Lady Eagles came back to lead 21-20 as the points went back and forth. Lanesville later had three straight errors allowing North Harrison back up front, 25-24. Schoen killed to tie the game again at 25. Lanesville erred again, but Schoen answered with a kill and a 26-all tie. Lanesville missed on its next serve, and North Harrison's Bethany Wiley killed for the 28-26 win.

"They were digging everything," Speer said of Lanesville. "I thought, 'Oh, that's going down,' and there they are again. They fought hard. They played well. … We fought hard. We've just got to learn to finish."

North Harrison had five errors through the midway point of game five, while Lanesville rushed to a 9-3 lead. North Harrison senior Brooke Lamon punched in two quick kills to launch a rally, and the gap closed to 11-9 following a kill by Kendra Lambert. The Lady Cats later got to within a point, 13-12, as Lanesville erred twice and North Harrison got a kill by Maddie Janes. The last two points, however, belonged to Schoen, who killed twice for the 15-12 game and match win.

"We're a young team," said Speer, whose team has just one senior in Lamon. "We came out making some errors, and we can't do that. When you're going to 15, you have to come in there and want it. … I don't know if we're too tense or something, if we didn't think we think we can get to the fifth game."

Schoen led the Lady Eagles (5-7) with 18 kills, and Morgan Williams had 16. Brooklyn Keinsley had 11 kills, and Amanda Pavey had six kills and two service aces. Conder added four aces and two kills. Lanesville missed eight serves but put in 12 aces. The Lady Eagles finished with 41 errors.

"She's a good hitter, a very good hitter," Speer said of Schoen. "She's a smart player. But we can step up and we can take those. I'm trying to teach these girls not to be scared to take it. Bring it on, have them bring it."

Lamon led North Harrison (6-9) with 15 kills, and Lambert had 10. Freshman Carlie Burson had nine kills, while Jill Book finished with six kills and three aces. Wiley had four kills and two aces. North Harrison missed seven serves, had five aces on serve and made 35 errors.

"Carlie is just a freshman, so she has a lot to grow. She did well and her shoulder is a little sore right now, but, when she's on, she's on it. She's going to be tough," Speer said.

"Our passing was great tonight. The sets were there. I think we could talk more and have more confidence in ourselves. They've got to know they can do it," she said. "Just because they see a bigger girl at the net, that's the time to play like the Little Giants in the second half. Go out there and want it."

"I was proud of the girls tonight," Gayhart said. "I was hoping to pull it out in three, but, hey, I'll take the win in five."

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