Crothersville volleyball loses to Orleans


CROTHERSVILLE — Crothersville volleyball coach Scott Sage is looking forward to seeing the calendar turn to September for several reasons.

In September, he will have his full team to work with, and the Tigers will have some much-needed practice time.

The Tigers lost 25-6, 25-14, 25-12 to Orleans in the Tigers’ Den on Tuesday night.

It was Crothersville’s second of four matches this week. Sage said the Tigers played last Thursday and Friday, played Monday and Tuesday this week and have matches Thursday and Friday, giving them six matches in nine days.

And this week, the Tigers are taking the floor with just seven healthy players.

Senior Makenna Newberry suffered a severely sprained ankle against Borden last Friday and will be out until early September, and Hayden Pilgrim suffered a torn ACL during basketball last winter and just recently began some light workouts.

Sage said she has an appointment with her doctor on Sept. 7, and he is hoping she can play the Sept. 8 match against Austin.

Newberry and Pilgrim will be in the Tigers’ regular rotation when they become healthy. Two other players don’t have enough practices to be eligible.

Sage started three first-year students, two sophomores and senior Elayna Ord against Orleans on Tuesday night, and the Bulldogs took advantage of the Tigers’ youth.

“We’re very short-handed,” he said. “We’ve got 11 kids total on the roster, and I’ve only got seven that are eligible to play right now. It makes a difference playing against older girls. We’re learning. We’ve got so much opportunity to get better.

“Right now, it’s really kind of frustrating for them and for the folks to watch because we just make a lot of errors. We’ll continue to work on ball control and serve as our biggest opportunities.”

The only time the Tigers led Tuesday night was when Ord served an ace to give her team a 2-1 lead in the first set.

The set was tied 3-3 before Jill Salmon served five straight aces to put the Bulldogs on top 8-3.

The visitors held a 16-5 lead before the Tigers scored on an Orleans attack error for their final point of the set.

Orleans jumped on top 6-1 in the second set before Ord got a kill to make it 6-2. The Tigers scored back-to-back points midway through the set with a kill by Brooklyn Bottorff that made it a 17-8 score.

The Bulldogs moved on top 6-1 in the third set before another kill by Ord made it a 6-2 game. The only time the Tigers scored back-to-back points in this set was when they cut Orleans’ lead to 16-9.

Another kill by Bottorff left the Tigers trailing 21-11, but they managed only one more point.

Bottorff, Ord and Maddie Smith were all 4-5-1 serving.

Bottorff led the team in attacks with 10-14-5, Grace Smith was 21-22-5 in assists and Maddie Smith and Zoey Prince had six digs apiece.

Sage said the Tigers need to work on their teamwork and communication.

“When we get a pass, we don’t put the ball in play like we really want to, so we just have opportunities to get better, and they’re so young,” he said. “We haven’t had a lot of practice time over the last week. We’re going to work hard, get better and keep a good attitude and go from there.”

The Tigers will host Southwestern (Hanover) at 6 p.m. Thursday.

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