Braves, Owls, Cougars compete in volleyball at Brownstown Central Invitational


BROWNSTOWN — Volleyball coaches Jennifer Shade of Brownstown Central, Angie Lucas of Seymour and Janet VanLiew of Trinity Lutheran learned a lot about their teams Saturday.

All three schools competed in the Brownstown Central Invitational. Brownstown and Trinity went 3-1 on the day, while Seymour was 1-3.

Brownstown won its pool by defeating Columbus East 21-25, 25-23, 15-10, East Central 25-16, 25-15 and Mitchell 25-16, 25-10. That set up a match with Jasper, which was the winner of the other pool, and the Wildcats won 25-19, 25-15.

Jasper was 4-0 for the day, also beating Bloomington South in pool play.

In the championship match, the Braves pulled within 17-15 in the first set before the Wildcats scored three straight points. The Braves responded with a 3-0 run to make it 20-18 before Jasper finished strong with five straight points.

The Braves stayed close in the second set, trailing 16-13 and 21-18, before the Wildcats outscored the Braves 4-1 down the stretch.

This was the Braves’ first tournament of the season, and Shade said it was a good day for her team.

“To be in the championship game, we were happy about that,” she said. “We saw things that we wanted to work on this week in practice. We saw improvement in those today. I’ve got to learn about this team. I haven’t seen some of them play on a Saturday. I’ve got to learn who’s awake, whose not, who’s ready to play, whose not. We had a lot of great plays today, just not quite enough to win the tournament.”

The Braves were 196-261-99 attacking during the day with Sophie Wischmeier 69-79-33. Kera Wischmeier had six kills against East Central and Columbus East and five kills against Jasper, and Kinzee Dean had four kills each against East Central, Mitchell and Columbus East.

Dean served four aces against Mitchell, and Alex Davidson served four aces against East Central. Sophie Wischmeier served two aces against East Central, and Jaydynn Yeadon and Finley Wheeler both had two aces against Columbus East.

“Jasper does a lot of things,” Shade said. “We have a lack of communication at times, and we lose points for that lack of communication. We’ve got to work on that part of our game. But overall, I saw great things today, and I saw improvement from the week before to this week.”

Seymour and Trinity played in the opening match of the other pool, and the Cougars won 25-13, 25-15. Trinity then outlasted Bloomington South 25-16, 35-33, then fell to Jasper 25-18, 25-23.

The Cougars then faced Columbus East, the second-place finisher in the other pool, and won 25-21, 24-26, 15-12.

In the first set of the Trinity-Columbus match, Laura Roeder served an ace that gave the Cougars a 21-18 lead. Kiley Zabel had an ace in the second set that gave Trinity a 24-22 lead before Columbus rallied for four straight points.

The third set was tied at 12 before Addison Darlage served another ace for a 14-12 lead, and Madison Keith had an attack for match point.

“Overall, it was a good day,” VanLiew said. “People come here with some good competition, and to finish 3-1, that is a good day, but we definitely have some things we have to keep working on, serving and communication. There were some things we needed to be a little sharper at.”

Trinity was 207-243-35 in serving with Darlage 42-47-9, Roeder 44-50-8 and Maddie Adams 9-10. The Cougars were 224-270-91 in attacks with Carson Bowling 65-80-27, Ava Blomenberg 35-43-18 and Keith 65-77-22.

Keith had 12 blocks, Darlage had 70 assists and Roeder topped the team in digs with 49, while Darlage had 22 and Keith 19.

“The real bright spot was we figured out a way to win,” VanLiew said. “Sometimes, that is something you can’t really teach.”

After Seymour lost to Trinity, the Owls fell to Jasper 25-16, 28-26 before losing to Bloomington South 17-25, 25-16, 12-15. Seymour then defeated Mitchell 28-26, 25-17 in the crossover game.

The Seymour-Mitchell first set was tied at 26 when Journee Brown came up with a kill. Then Mitchell made a passing error on the final point.

The Owls broke a 2-2 tie in the second set with an 8-0 run to lead the rest of the way.

Lucas said her team played better as the tournament went along.

“We improved and, really, that’s all I can ask for as a coach is to see that improvement every time we’re on the floor. We use these tournaments to make us better,” she said. “We started out really rough this morning. I don’t know if it was because we were playing Trinity. They know those kids. We just did not play well this morning. We had one player (Raeann Baker) that had to miss this morning to take the ACT. When you change things around a little bit, it’s hard for kids to adjust to that.

“I’m proud of them. They worked hard today, and they’re tired kids. We have a lot of things we need to work on. We need to eliminate some errors that are caused because we’re not in the correct position.

“People don’t know the circumstances these players have had to deal with the last couple of weeks. We’ve had adversity. We’ve had to deal with some life things and it’s not necessarily volleyball. Our goal was to navigate through these trying times as best we could and be there to support our teammates.”

The Owls were 158-173-16 in serves with Abby Otte 33-33-6, Baker 22-23-6 and Norah Campbell 33-33-2, and Campbell led the team in digs with 40.

Seymour was 227-267-68 in attacks with Brown 67-77-26, Emerson Johnson 52-57-19 and Zoe Williams 31-39-9. Anna Fish had 55 assists.

All three local teams will play Tuesday night with Brownstown (4-3) at Bloomington South, Seymour (3-7) home to Floyd Central and Trinity (5-7) going to Loogootee.

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