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Lady Highlanders pound Jeffersonville

Lady Highlanders pound Jeffersonville
Lady Highlanders pound Jeffersonville
Floyd Central’s Kaylee Hunt dumps a shot back at Jeffersonville for a kill in the third set of the Lady Highlanders’ 3-0 sweep. Photo by Wade Bell
By Wade Bell, Sports Writer

Through most of this season, the Floyd Central girls’ volleyball team has had to deal with injuries and other distractions leading to a less than .500 season. Thursday, on Senior Night, the Lady Highlanders put all of those distractions behind them and made visiting Jeffersonville the victim of their frustrations for a dominating three-set sweep in a Hoosier Hills Conference matchup.

“The last couple of days of practice we’ve had some really good energy in the last week,” said Floyd Central coach Bart Powell. “We’ve practiced Monday and played Monday, and we had some pretty good energy. Practice has gotten tougher the last couple of days. We’ve had a lot of things going on during the year, and this was just a relief. It’s Senior Night, and we got to Senior Night and that was pretty good volleyball. Jeff’s not that bad. We made them look bad. We did a lot of good things tonight.”

The first set was a game of runs, and the Lady Highlanders owned them all. Floyd Central jumped out to a 4-1 lead with aggressive play at the net. The Lady Red Devils rallied for a brief tie at four, but Floyd Central countered with a 7-0 burst for an 11-5 advantage. After the two teams traded points, the Lady Highlanders went on a rage with seven more unanswered points to lead 19-7. Jeffersonville had no answer, and Floyd Central took game one 25-10.

“The seniors all started and got to play,” Powell said. “They’ve got a lot of energy. There was more energy and more communication out there tonight than there’s been all season. I’m happy for those kids. Riley Chumbley rarely gets to play, and she knows she can’t play because she’s hurt. She won’t be able to move tomorrow. … She made a couple of really nice digs.”

Floyd Central quickly owned game two, slicing and dicing its way to an 11-4 lead. A few minutes later, Kaylee Hunt killed to put the Lady Highlanders in front 15-7 and having Jeffersonville call timeout. During that break, a strange thing happened where the music on the P.A. system failed to turn off following a computer failure. As school officials raced to unplug the music, a yellow card was issued to the Floyd Central bench. After a number of minutes, the music finally died and play continued.

The music distraction didn’t faze the Lady Highlanders, who continued to hold their domination over Jeffersonville for a 25-14 win.

“We’ve just struggled through a load of stuff this year,” said Powell. “Maybe it’s our time to start shining.”

The Lady Red Devils managed to get some traction in game three, taking a 5-4 lead early in the set following a service ace by Andi Durbin. Jeffersonville held that edge through the next several side-outs then freshman Nora Gibson tipped to put the Lady Highlanders back in front and start a 6-0 run for a 13-8 Floyd Central lead. Points went back and forth for the next few minutes. Caroline Hilbrich then swatted a kill to start a 5-0 burst for a 22-12 lead. Jeffersonville got just one of those back; however, Floyd Central got the 25-13 game and match win.

“They all did a nice job,” Powell said. “We’re going to gel this next week and see what we can come up with for the tournament.”

Natalie Lostutter led the Lady Highlanders with 11 kills, and Hunt followed with 10 kills on the night. Hilbrich finished with six kills, and Gibson came off the bench for four kills in the final set. Kasey Quenichet was big behind the service line with five aces. Floyd Central missed nine serves but delivered 12 service aces. The Lady Highlanders had 14 errors.

“I’m happy for this group. Kaylee Hunt had a pretty good match, and she’s been struggling. She’s been sick, and she’s lost a load of weight … I put Nora Gibson in, and she played great the other night against Presentation.”

Eliott Mays led the Lady Red Devils with five kills. Jeffersonville missed five serves and had a lone ace on serve. The Lady Red Devils finished with 15 errors.

“Jeff’s not that bad of team,” said Powell. “We were on all cylinders tonight.”

Floyd Central will finish its regular season this week with six matches for a final tune-up for next week’s sectional play.

“We’ve got one at home Monday night and then we go to Kentucky and play and then we got to Indianapolis and play four matches Saturday,” Powell said. “I do that every year, and there will be two really nice teams that we play down there that get us ready for the tournament.”

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