For The Tribune
Seymour’s volleyball team couldn’t come up with enough big plays during crunch time and lost 25-13, 25-19, 27-25 to Madison in a Hoosier Hills Conference match Saturday in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
Even though the Owls fell to 1-1 in the HHC, coach Holly Birdsong said she saw improvement in some areas.
“This week we spent a lot of time working on our passing angles, and even though it wasn’t perfect, today I felt we did have some improvement,” she said. “I know we have a long way to go. We have two of our junior passers (Emily Corcoran and Morgan Bobb) that are out right now, so when we get those two back in, it will also help.”
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The Owls held a 3-2 lead in the first set before the Cubs scored four straight points to lead the rest of that game. The Cubs scored 10 straight points to take a 17-5 lead before Sophia Stahl came up with a kill to stop the visitors’ momentum.
A kill by Jessica Blevins, followed by a block by Peyton Levine, closed Madison’s lead to 21-13, but that was as close as the Owls could get in that set.
A kill by Blevins put the Owls on top 4-1 in the second set before the Cubs took a 5-4 lead.
A point on a tip by Makenna Fee cut Madison’s lead to 10-8 before the Cubs went on a 7-4 run to lead 17-12. The Owls rallied and used back-to-back kills by Levine and Blevins to cut Madison’s lead to 19-18, but Madison scored the next five points to pull away to the win.
Madison pulled ahead 8-2 in the third set before Seymour rallied to tie the score at 16.
The Owls used a late rally to take a 25-24 lead on a kill by Emma Gillaspy before the Cubs scored the final three points for the win.
“We’re still stuck on continuing to finish a play,” Birdsong said. “Today, we had some sights of some good things happening. We had Jessica able to get some good kills from the outside. We had Peyton and Makenna getting some blocks in the middle.
“Those are things we haven’t had in the last two games, so it was good to see the girls step up and do those things. We’ve just got to put everything together to finish a game.”
Gillaspy was 31-for-33 with 13 kills on attacks and 11 of 12 serving, and she had 14 digs.
Levine had nine blocks, and Fee was 69-for-69 with 20 assists.
“It seems like we have runs of four or five points in a row where we really struggle, and we’ve just got to find a way to get somebody to step up in those situations and be confident they can put a ball away,” Birdsong said.
“We do need to continue to work on our communication, reacting sooner and letting people know what we’re going to do before the ball gets to us.
“We don’t have any seniors. Our juniors are working into that position of leadership. They have played on varsity before so they know what’s expected, but to get everybody on that same level, we’re just not there yet.”
The Owls (1-2) will travel to Columbus East Tuesday night for another HHC match.