Tough ending: Owls get bounced in first round of sectional


In volleyball, you have to be at the top of your game when it comes to tournament time. If you’re not playing at your best, advancing becomes a lot tougher.

“We made way too many unforced errors,” Seymour coach Angie Lucas said after the Owls fell to New Albany 25-19, 25-19, 25-22 in Seymour Class 4A Sectional 15 Thursday night.

“We missed 10 serves, which serving was supposed to be a strength all season long. When you miss 10 and only get one ace it’s just not going to be helpful.”

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The Owls (18-14) were unable to pull away from the Bulldogs in any of the three sets as they were unable to build more than a two-point lead the entire night.

Seymour scored the first point of the first set before the Bulldogs gained control at 3-1, then took leads of 11-5 and 14-8. With Hayley Harpe at the serving line, the Owls scored five straight points to trail 14-13. Jessica Blevins had two kills, and Makenna Fee had an attack kill, and tipped for another point, but the Owls were unable to tie the score.

New Albany (16-18) then ran off four straight points and the closest the Owls could get after that was at 21-25.

The Bulldogs jumped on top 6-3 in the second set before the Owls went on a 4-0 run to lead 7-6. Blevins’ third kill of the set put the Owls on top, and later Seymour led 8-7 before New Albany scored four straight to lead for good. A kill by Abby Schmidt left the Owls trailing 17-14, and a kill by Maddie Storey pulled the Owls to within 20-17 before the Bulldogs pulled ahead.

The Owls held leads of 2-0 and 4-2 in the third set before New Albany went up 7-4. Kills by Blevins and Schmidt and an attacking error by the Bulldogs put the Owls in front 9-8.

The score was tied seven times after that, the last being at 21-21 before New Albany pulled ahead for good.

Blevins finished her career with a strong attacking game, going 32-for-34 with 12 kills. Chloe Criswell had seven kills.

Harpe and Criswell were both 9-for-11 in serving, and Fee served the Owls’ only ace.

Fee had 21 assists and Blevins had nine digs.

“We made a lot of passing errors tonight, which is a little bit unusual for us because we’ve been doing better in that department,” Lucas said. “It was just an off night, and it’s a shame that it was an off night at the sectional.

She said the Owls lost to a good team.

“They were very good. They have lots of athletic players on their team that have played a lot during the off-season and it showed. They were very athletic and we were fortunate to stay with them at times because of all the errors that we were making, but at the same time it seemed like we could never get over the hurdle.

“We could not string points together because of the errors. We’d make a great play at the net and then we’d miss a serve. We just couldn’t get that momentum going tonight, and we tried a lot of kids, we tried a lot of different things to try to help and nothing seemed to work.”

The tournament will resume at 11 a.m. Saturday with Jennings County facing Providence, and that match will be followed by New Albany against Floyd Central. The winners will play at 7 p.m. for the championship.

“It was a very frustrating night,” Lucas said. “I feel for the seniors because they worked really hard and they’re part of changing of this culture. They’re adjusted well to it and it just hate it for them. It’s a disappointing night for them.

“We have some very good talent coming, so there is great hope for us in the future. We just have to keep working and keep developing. We have a long way to go yet.”

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