For The Tribune
The Crothersville volleyball team captured its first victory of the season on a 3-1 win against Lighthouse Christian Academy.
It looked as though the Tigers (1-6) were going to cruise by the Lions for a 3-0 sweep, but the team came out flat in the third set, dropping it 26-24 after winning the first two sets by a score of 25-10 in each.
“I think they kind of stayed content with themselves and thought, ‘we beat this team pretty easily’ and then got complacent,” first-year coach Kourtney Settle said following the game. “I think they didn’t think they needed to work as hard.”
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Settle expressed frustration watching her team not go after balls that were falling around them.
She took the opportunity to address the team in between the third and fourth sets. The Tigers then regained focus and won the fourth set 25-12.
“I told them I was not willing to go five games tonight,” she said. “I told them they had a game to win and reminded them they just beat them 25-10 in both of the first sets and told them they knew what they had to do and that they just have to go out and do it.”
The Tigers did that.
Crothersville hit a stride early on the Lions to take a commanding 11-1 lead behind quality serves by sophomore Bekah Cook and senior Kaitlyn Silvers. The Tigers scored the first six points behind Cook to open the set and and another five after Silvers took over.
The Lions were able to score a couple more points, but were inconsistent on their serves, giving the Tigers an opportunity to earn points and more serves.
The third set that gave the Tigers so much trouble was back-and-forth. Neither team was able to produce a run to take a significant lead.
Settle said her team began to lose confidence. She said the team then seemed to panic in the course of the set and began to think too much about mistakes and the momentum the Lions were able to create.
“We have a rule in practice where you have a two-second reaction time,” she said. “You have two seconds to think about it and then it’s over and you move on and forget about it.”
During the sets the Tigers won, communication was working and the team was more relaxed, Settle said.
“It looked like they were having more fun,” she said. Settle said the team benefited from Maddie Riley’s ability.
Riley lead the team on a 10-point run in the first set and seemed to be able to get to the ball all night. Settle said the serving was key for the team.
“I think once she kept getting a couple aces, she really pumped the team up,” she said, adding that Riley has great command of her serving. “One thing about her serve is that she can point out somewhere where she wants to serve and put it there.”
Settle said it also felt good to get the first win of her career as the Crothersville coach.
“It feel really good to get this first win tonight,” she said. “I’m happy about it.”