Owls battle with tough competition; Cougars, Braves also compete in tourneys



Coming into Saturday’s Avon Volleyball Classic, the Seymour volleyball team knew it was going to be in for a tough stretch of games.

Facing off with the 2018 Class 4A state runner-up Avon Orioles, defending Class 3A state champion New Castle Trojans and perennial powers Carmel and Crown Point, the Owls learned what it’s going to take if they hope to get on the same level as some of the state’s top programs.

Seymour battled in all four matches but lost all of them in straight sets. The Owls showed a lot of fight on every point but were unable to keep runs going and keep opponents from rattling off consecutive points.

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Against the host Orioles, the Owls strung together their most complete match of the tournament but still fell 25-18, 25-16.

Though Avon took a commanding lead to start the match, ahead by as many as eight points in the opening stages, the Owls were able to battle back within four and force the Orioles to really play perfect volleyball in order to close out the set. The Owls got off to a better start in the second set and were able to keep it close until the Orioles established themselves and pulled away.

The difficulty level ratcheted up when the Owls played the Trojans in their second match of the invite. The defending champs and top-ranked team in Class 4A drilled Seymour to the tune of a 25-10, 25-15 win, but the match wasn’t without its positives.

Freshman Olivia Fish, known for her big-time hits at the net, was able to find some gaps in the New Castle defense and tip over several points. Fellow freshman Cali Cummings also showed some promise, winning back-to-back points for the Owls via an ace and a block against the vaunted Trojans.

After a long layoff between matches, the Owls played their best set of the day against Carmel but still fell 25-13, 25-22.

Set 1 saw much of the same for the Owls, but things started going their way in the second. Down 13-6, Seymour called a timeout, weathered the Carmel storm and then went on a nice and tidy run of their own.

A 6-0 run saw the Owls tie the set at 16, but the Greyhounds were able to settle down and wrestle the game back from Seymour. The Owls didn’t go down without a fight, though, pushing the game to 24-22, but the Carmel frontline proved too much in the end.

Their final match of the tournament against Crown Point went much of the same way against New Castle. There were some positives to be found, especially from senior Chloe Criswell, who won several points for the Owls in their last match. Still, the Owls fell 25-14, 25-10 to the Bulldogs.

Leading the way for the Owls in the hitting department was Fish, who went 84-for-99 with 28 kills. Criswell was 30 of 35 for seven kills, and Cummings was 19 of 20 with three kills.

Serving wise, Jayla Gambrel was 15-for-15 with three aces, while Criswell was 12-for-12 with three. Hayley Harpe had 36 assists, and Criswell led the Owls with 18 digs.

Braves go 3-1 at Providence Invite

The Brownstown Central volleyball team kicked off its day down south with a little revenge, sweeping the Bloomington South Panthers 25-15, 25-16. The Panthers handed the Braves their first loss of the season early last week.

Brownstown kept it right on rolling with a sweep of Franklin 25-22, 25-20, landing themselves in the gold pool for their final two matches of the day.

Against the host Pioneers, the Braves took the first set 25-22 but dropped the next two, 25-17, 15-9, landing them in the third-place game against Roncalli.

The Rebels proved too tough for the Braves, winning 25-19, 25-20.

Keeli Darlage led the Braves with 21 kills on 35-for-50 hitting. She was followed by Kendra McCory, who had 19 kills on 37 of 47. Kayla Guthrie also had a strong day at the net, going 24-for-28 with 10 kills.

Riley Nuss was the top server for the Braves, going a perfect 34-for-34 with four aces.

Cougars finish runner-up at Barr-Reeve Invitational

Trinity Lutheran volleyball swept its way into the championship match at the Barr-Reeve Invitational on Saturday.

The Cougars had no issues with Northview, winning 25-12, 25-9, and made quick work of Tecumseh 25-10, 25-17, before getting a rematch with Christian Academy of Indiana in the final match of pool play. The Cougars beat CAI early last week and repeated the effort on Saturday, winning 25-16, 25-16. The win set up a championship match with rival Barr-Reeve.

In a rematch of last year’s regional final, the Class 2A No. 1 Vikings won 25-12, 25-20.

Hannah Sabotin led the Cougars with 36 kills, followed by Sydney Jaynes and Kennedy Hoffman, who had 21 and 20, respectively. Jaynes also had seven blocks, and Sabotin had four aces. Bailey Reynolds led the Cougars with 79 assists and six aces and also had 18 digs.

Kamzi Gross led Trinity Lutheran with 27 digs, while Elly Carter added 12.

Up next

Seymour hosts Hoosier Hills Conference rival Jeffersonville today 7:30 p.m., while Trinity Lutheran is off until Tuesday when it hots Oldenburg Academy at 6 p.m. Brownstown Central gets several days to prepare for their rematch with Mid-Southern Conference rival Silver Creek that takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday.

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