BLOOMINGTON — Seymour saw a lot familiar opponents on Saturday in the Bloomington South Invitational.
The Owls first saw cross-county rival Brownstown Central, then encountered Hoosier Hills Conference foe Columbus East, which they just played four days earlier, and then another Jackson County team in Trinity Lutheran.
The results were three-straight wins for Seymour that crowned them the winners of the Bloomington South Invite.
“I think everyone played really well overall,” senior Olivia Fish said.
The first match was a competitive one with the Braves. Seymour was able to win it 25-22, 25-21.
“I think our first game a little rough,” Fish said. “I don’t know, we’re just not a morning team for some reason.”
Seymour took on Columbus East immediately after Brownstown. The Owls swept the Olympians at home earlier in the week, which was their first win over East since 2013.
East came out on Saturday and beat Seymour 25-23 in the first set.
On Tuesday, Seymour kept East out of system and kept the ball away from the Olympians’ 6-foot-4 middle blocker. The Owls didn’t do that in the first set, but they made adjustments.
Seymour won the second set 25-14 and then rolled in the third set 15-1.
“We struggled with it in the first set, and I think the second set, we did a better job,” Fish said. “We served a bit more aggressive, which kept them out of system, too. I think the third set, we just sparked a fire and we just rolled.”
That advanced Seymour to the crossover game against Trinity. The Owls were able to top the Cougars 25-19, 25-22 to win the invite.
Across all three matches, Seymour hit 175-188 with 84 kills and served 136-150 with 13 aces.
Fish hit 59-61 with 33 kills, Cali Cummings hit 36-42 with 19 kills and Journee Brown hit 24-24 with 11 kills. Addi Lemon served 25-27 with five aces, Greer Henry 30-31 with four aces and Breanna Lawrence 26-29 with four aces.
Lemon had 68 assists, and Raeann Baker had 14 digs.
Seymour’s record is now 8-1 on the season, and the Owls will have a big HHC match this Tuesday at Floyd Central.
“One big thing we started with this season is our serve-receive. Our serve-receive is a big thing, and we can get in holes if our serve-receive isn’t on,” Fish said. “Then blocking. I think those are two areas we can get better at.”
Trinity started out the day with a three-set win over Bloomington South 27-29, 25-13, 15-7. The Cougars then beat East Central 25-19, 25-11, and that propelled them into the championship match against Seymour.
“We’re very excited,” sophomore setter Addison Darlage said. “We’ve been wanting to play them (Seymour) all season.”
Despite losing to the Owls, the Cougars were pleased with their level of play.
“I am so proud of our effort,” head coach Faith Wilder-Newland said. “We are getting better every time we play. We play many 3A and 4A teams to make us tough and help us improve. Seymour is an excellent team, and we competed well in nearly every aspect of the game.”
Saturday was a much-needed day for Trinity after a tough five-set loss to Franklin on Thursday. Trinity was up two sets to zero at Franklin before losing in five.
“After that loss, we knew we wanted to come back and play better,” Darlage said. “This has been pretty good for us.”
Over their three matches, Bailey Tabeling and Carson Bowling both totaled 39 kills, and Drew Hubbard had nine kills.
Hubbard and Laura Roeder served three aces, and Tabeling and Darlage both served two aces. Roeder had 45 digs, while Tabeling and Darlage both had 27 digs, and Darlage had 88 assists.
“I feel like we’re communicating some more, and we’re getting our hits under control,” Darlage said.
The Cougars are now 5-4 this season and will host Loogootee on Tuesday.
“I feel like we’ve come along really well,” Darlage said. “I feel like the ones that didn’t play a whole lot last year have stepped up this year.”
Saturday’s competition concluded a week in which Brownstown really tested itself on the court.
On Tuesday, the Braves played at Providence, then Brownstown hosted Floyd Central on Thursday and started off Saturday playing Columbus East.
The Olympians defeated the Braves 25-21, 25-8. As a team, Brownstown hit 36-51 with 10 kills and served 30-31 with two aces. Kalee Borden served 7-7 with one ace, and Sophie Wischmeier served 5-5 with one ace.
Brailey Teipen hit 9-11 with three kills, Borden hit 11-17 with three kills and Wischmeier hit 7-9 with two kills.
“I think we could’ve done better with communicating, but I think we’re on the rise,” sophomore Kinzee Dean said. “Since our scrimmage against Trinity, we have gotten a lot better. Our team has a lot of underclassmen, so I feel like we’re all just learning new things.”
Against Seymour, Brownstown hit 54-61 with 25 kills and served 40-45 with three aces. Finley Wheeler served 11-11 with one ace. Wischmeier hit 18-21 with eight kills, Borden 11-13 with six kills and Teipen 9-11 with five kills.
The Braves had some big blocks in the game against the Owls that got them fired up.
“I get so hype,” said Dean, who plays in the middle. “Everyone gets so lit. It’s so great.”
Brownstown’s crossover game was against East Central, and the Braves got the win 25-21, 25-15. They hit 52-59 with 21 kills and served 46-49 with six aces.
Dean served 13-14 with three aces, Jaydynn Yeadon served 8-8 with two aces and Wischmeier served 8-8 with one ace. Wischmeier hit 14-15 with eight kills, Borden 16-18 with five kills and Kera Wischmeier 9-9 with one kill.
Brownstown’s record is 4-4 after Saturday, and the Braves will welcome in Bloomington South on Tuesday for a home match at 7:30 p.m.
These tough matches are helping Brownstown prepare for what it wants to accomplish in the postseason.
“We’re just trying to get ready for the bigger games we’re going to have to play later in the season,” Dean said.