Bingham achieves milestone as Trinity sweeps Crothersville

In the second set against Crothersville on Tuesday night, Ruthie Bingham rose up and spiked the ball over the net, leaving no chance for a Tigers defender to keep it in play.

The point made it 6-1 Cougars, and Trinity’s bench erupted. That kill was a little more special than just the sixth point in the second set. That kill marked the 500th kill of Bingham’s Trinity career.

There was a pause in the match for the PA announcer to state the accomplishment for Bingham, to which the whole crowd joined in for a standing ovation for the Trinity senior.

Bingham smiled as her teammates congratulated her on the floor.

“I can’t even put it into words. Ruthie works so hard and has willed herself to become as good a player as she is,” head coach Faith Wilder-Newland said. “It was just really thrilling, exciting. I can’t be happier for her. She’s a great student, she’s a great kid and she deserves 500 kills, she deserves 500,000, you know? She’s just that kind of a kid.”

That kill was one of Bingham’s nine on the night to help Trinity defeat Crothersville 25-7, 25-10, 25-9.

Bailey Tabeling also had nine kills during the match, and Carson Bowling led the Cougars with 12. Bingham also had a good serving night, finishing with six aces, while Tabeling had three.

Kamzi Gross led the team with 13 digs, Bowling had nine and Stella Kleffman and Addison Darlage each had six. Darlage had 29 assists.

“We set some goals like wanting to incorporate as much of the younger kids as possible offensively,” Wilder-Newland said. “Defensively, we had Kamzi go in for our outside hitters, who normally play back row. We had her play back for them so that the younger kids got to play all the way around, like Carson Bowling, Madison Keith, Bailey Tabeling.”

Despite the final score going in Trinity’s favor, Crothersville was able to keep the ball alive against the Cougars’ strong attack.

“We have a very good defensive team this year,” Tigers coach Carly Blevins said. “They do a good job of keeping it up, and they work really hard making sure it just stays in.”

The Tigers went on a run in the second set to cut the lead to 9-8, which featured an impressive block at the net by Pearl Shirley.

“They get excited when we have those big moments, especially against teams like Trinity, who hit hard and are usually on point all the time,” Blevins said.

Crothersville’s libero, Carlee Walker, was icing her right elbow throughout the match. Blevins said Walker dinged up her elbow earlier in the day and it was a little sore, but she toughed it out on the court.

As a team, Crothersville hit 44-52 with five kills, led by Shirley, who had four kills, and Kennadi Lakins had the other one.

Crothersville has started to build its chemistry back up after being out of action for a couple weeks in early September. The Tigers will be back in action Friday at Borden.

“I feel like we’re growing more as a team,” Blevins said.

As for Trinity, the Cougars are on a roll as Tuesday’s final score suggests.

They are now 18-4 overall on the season and still ranked No. 1 in Class A.

Trinity will return to action on Thursday at Hauser.

“Handling first ball in serve-receive has gotten better. We’re pretty good with that,” Wilder-Newland said. “Defensively, we’ve gotten better. The middle back is doing well. We still have to get our right back and our left back running through the ball better.

“But Addison is going a good job now starting to mix up setting away from where the ball is more, so those things are progressing. We’ve still just got to keep getting better and be more efficient at it.”