Local volleyball teams compete at high level at Brownstown Invite


By Dylan Wallace

Getting off a strong start was a big key for Seymour’s volleyball team Saturday morning at the Brownstown Central Invitational, especially since the Owls were kicking off their morning against a solid Trinity Lutheran team.

All matches played on Saturday were best of three sets instead of the normal five.

Seymour and Trinity needed every bit of the three sets to decide a winner, and the Owls edged out the Cougars 25-21, 22-25, 15-13 to start the day out with a win.

“We did come out with a lot of energy, I mean, how do you not when you’re playing against a team like Trinity?” Seymour head coach Angie Lucas said. “They’re a really good team. I was really excited to get that win and so were the girls.”

It didn’t get any easier from there. One team dropped out of the invite last second, so Brownstown’s junior varsity team filled in, and the Owls played them next and came away with a 25-13, 25-17 victory.

After that, the Owls took on a challenging Bloomington South team, but they were able to prevail 25-17, 25-21 to advance to the championship game of the invite.

“It was a really good day for us,” Lucas said.

In the championship game, Seymour took on the team that handed Seymour its one and only loss on the season — Columbus East.

East got the better of Seymour once again, winning the match 25-13, 25-18.

“They’re a really good, solid team, they’re coached well, and yesterday, we did not serve well against them,” Lucas said, “and when you do that, they’re always in system, and they’re too good of a team to allow that.”

Olivia Fish led the team in kills through the four matches with 38, and Fish and Breanna Lawrence each had 5 aces. Addi Lemon led the Owls with 67 assists, and Paige Lawrence with 27 digs.

Seymour is now 7-2 on the season — its only two losses to Columbus East — and will get ready for another Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday week of competition again.

The Owls will be at home on Tuesday against Floyd Central at 5:30 p.m.

“It’s more mental than physical right now,” Lucas said. “We’ll have to make sure we’re mentally prepared and we’ll watch a lot of game film. After we play these kind of matches, we get better.”

Trinity finishes 3-1 at invite

After dropping its first match to Seymour in three sets on Saturday, the Trinity Lutheran volleyball team just surged forward from there.

It was a hard-fought loss to the Owls in three sets, and head coach Faith Wilder-Newland said she was pleased with the effort and how hard her team played.

From there, the Cougars defeated Bloomington South 25-11, 25-16, then went on to defeat Brownstown’s JV team 25-13, 25-8 to advance to the third-place game.

Trinity took on Brownstown’s varsity team in the third-place game, and were trailing 17-11 in the first set before Wilder-Newland called her second timeout.

“I could tell we were a little bit sluggish,” Wilder-Newland said. “We just started coming back and stepped it up. Our defense was a lot better.”

The Cougars outlasted the Braves in two sets 25-22, 29-27.

“That last set was just a dog fight,” Wilder-Newland said. “We were battling back and forth.”

Bailey Tabeling led the Cougars in hitting for the weekend with 42 kills, Stella Kleffman and Kamzi Gross each had 2 aces, Addison Darlage had 105 assists and Gross had 39 digs.

Wilder-Newland said tournaments like Saturday help you find a lot out about your team, and she found a lot of courage to be proud of from her team on Saturday.

Trinity is now 6-2 on the season and will play at Loogootee on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before playing this Thursday and Saturday as well.

“We’ll have a long, a regular practice on Monday,” Wilder-Newland said. “But then after that, we’ll cut it down a bit to save their legs and give them time to recover.”

Braves varsity splits competition

Brownstown’s first match on Saturday was against the eventual champion in the invite in Columbus East, who came away with a 25-16, 25-14 win over Brownstown.

But the Braves bounced back from there.

They defeated East Central 25-18, 25-18 and then took care of Cardinal Ritter 25-12, 25-14 to advance to the third-place match against Trinity.

“Our team is coming along,” head coach Jennifer Shade said. “We’re getting better after each match. We’re really young, and we’re learning quick because we are playing some real tough competition.”

Brownstown couldn’t quite force a third set against Trinity in the third-place match and fell to the Cougars 25-22, 29-27.

“I saw some really bright spots, and I saw some really great plays,” Shade said. “But then I saw too many errors. That’s what we have to work on is cutting down some of those errors.”

Kelsey Wischmeier and Kalee Borden led the Braves with 24 kills each over the four games, and Jaydynn Yeadon led the team with 3 aces.

Brownstown’s JV team also gained a lot of experience on Saturday. Due to a team dropping out last minute, the Braves’ JV team went up against the varsity teams of Seymour, Bloomington South and Trinity.

“At first, I think they were a little bit scared,” Shade said. “But they competed nice. They really did. They obviously scored some points against the teams and there were some rallies and this will only make them grow and learn that faster pace of the game quicker.”

Brownstown, now 3-5 on the season, will be competing again on Tuesday at Bloomington South at 5:30 p.m. The Braves have intentionally made their schedule difficult to adjust to the quicker pace and improve.

“We want the competition because if we don’t play good teams, we’ll never get better,” Shade said. “It’s mentally and physically tough, but it makes you better, it really does.”

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