CROTHERSVILLE — Crothersville volleyball coach Scott Sage says the Tigers are definitely making progress.
“It’s overall play,” he said after Trinity Lutheran left the Tigers Den with a 25-11, 25-18, 25-15 win Tuesday night.
Tigers assistant coach Rita Cook said that is the first time in five years that the Tigers had scored double figures against the Cougars.
On the other bench, Trinity coach Faith Wilder-Newland said her team had a letdown after the big five-set win over Silver Creek in its previous match.
“It’s hard coming off a win like Silver Creek,” she said. “It was so exciting and it’s kind of hard to follow that up.”
In the first set the Cougars broke a 3-3 tie by going on a 10-4 run to take a 13-7 lead and used an attack by Carson Bowling for set point.
The Tigers stayed close to the Cougars in the second set by drawing to within 18-16 on an ace by Carlee Walker. Bowling came up with a kill to give the Cougars the momentum at 21-16, and set point came on a passing error by Crothersville.
The third set was tied at 10-10 before Drew Hubbard served the Cougars into a 17-10 lead. Hubbard had a kill for match point.
Wilder-Newland said, “I think we could have played a lot better. We missed some serves, a lot of serves early on and didn’t pass as well as we have been so I was a bit disappointed with the way we started, but toward the end we got our act together and took care of business so that was good.”
Bowling topped the Cougars in kills with 14, Bailey Tabeling had 10 and Ava Blomenberg had seven.
Hubbard had three aces while Tabeling and Addison Darlage each had two aces.
Darlage had 34 assists while Laura Roeder led the team in digs with 12 and Allison Ward had six.
Sage said, “Defensively we’re transitioning a little bit better. I think we’re serving pretty tough, serving aggressive. But it’s an overall mindset that we can play. It’s one of those things that I talk about ‘coach taught and player led.’
“I’m happy with our players,” Sage continued. “They try and take what I say and put it onto the court. Sometimes that’s easy, sometimes it’s not too easy. There were times tonight where we didn’t transition very well and they kind of burned us, but overall I was very pleased with the effort. I was pleased with the attitude and the mindset that we had going in and just fighting for every single point. I think it showed on the court.”
Walker led the Tigers in serving with 10-11 with one ace and Elayna Ord had three aces.
Pearl Shirley topped the Tigers in kills at 20-22 with six kills, and Zoey Prince had four kills.
Sage said, “We are so young (two seniors, Walker and Shirley). We are so volleyball immature. We’re over halfway through our season and we’re stepping up and we’re making progress. They’re small steps at a time but we’re moving forward.
“There are some things we can clean up and we’ll continue to work on those,” he said. “We’ll go back to practice (today). If we can continue to come in with the mindset that we’re going to fight for every single point, and we can clean up some things and have cleaner execution I think we can win some games.”
Crothersville will take a 6-14 record into Thursday night’s senior night match against Edinburgh.
Trinity (14-5) will host Hauser Thursday night and will be home to Mitchell and New Washington for the Trinity Lutheran Invitational Saturday beginning t 9 a.m.
Wilder-Newland said, “Hauser is having a really good season and we’ve got to be ready to play, and Mitchell is having a good season as well. It doesn’t get any easier. We have to refocus and regroup and prepare, but I’m excited about the group.”