Fish breaks school record as Seymour defeats South

It was early in the second set on Thursday night, Seymour was looking for a bounce back set against Bloomington South after dropping the first one 25-18.

The Owls were trailing 3-2 when Olivia Fish rose up and spiked the ball to even things up at 3-3.

Head coach Angie Lucas called a timeout.

Meghan Stout owned the Seymour all-time kill record with 1,016 heading into last night’s match. Fish’s kill early in the second set was kill 1,017 in her career.

Lucas called a timeout so that accomplishment could be announced to the crowd, who gave Fish a standing ovation as she was hugged by her teammates and coaches.

“It’s just special,” Lucas said. “I think it’s going to be a long time before this record is broken because she’s only a junior. The ceiling is pretty high for her, and I feel like it’s going to be on the board for awhile. I’m excited. I’m proud of her. It’s been a lot of hard work.”

Seymour did, in fact, bounce back in that second set as well, winning it 25-19.

The Owls started to find a rhythm late in the first set feeding Cali Cummings, and that continued in the second set. The Owls also started to serve more aggressively.

“When we serve aggressive, and we pass as well as we can right now, we’re pretty tough team to beat,” Lucas said. “I was happy we got over that hump and got the win tonight.”

Seymour continued that momentum and took charge in the third set.

A service error by the Panthers gave Seymour a 25-17 third set win.

With a 2-1 advantage, the Owls did their best to avoid a fifth set being forced.

They jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the fourth set. The Panthers fought their way back to tie things at 9-9, but a kill by Kierstyn Ellis put the Owls back out in front.

The match was tied at 19 before Fish came up with a big kill to force a South timeout.

Seymour went on to win the fourth set 25-22 to clinch the match and win its 17th match in a row.

Thursday night was also Senior Night for the Owls, who honored Paige Lawrence, Valeria Ramirez and Ellis prior to the match.

“I love them,” Lucas said of her seniors. “They’re wonderful people. They come from wonderful families who support this program. There’s not enough words to say what they mean. They’re just special, special kids.”

The regular-season is now over for the Owls.

Seymour drew Providence in the first round of sectionals next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Providence’s home gym.

It won’t be an easy task, but the Owls have been working toward this all season. They remember what it was like to lose to Providence in the sectional last year, and they don’t want to feel that again.

“We know that Providence is a really good team,” Lucas said. “They’re very well-coached and they’re very good passers. We need to make sure that our hitters don’t get frustrated. We’re gonna have to mix up our shots. We’re gonna have to be smart and we’re gonna have to limit our errors.”

Next Thursday will mark the first meeting between Seymour and Providence this season.