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Thursday, September 04, 2008

South – Slow Start, Strong Finish

South started slow in their first volleyball set, but finished strong against rival TriCounty North. It is rare for one team to beat the other in straight sets in this annual rivalry. This match was no different as it took all 5 sets to determine the winner. It did get heated at times as TVS head coach Leslie Roberts received a yellow card in a dispute over rules interpretation with the referee.

Due to some electric problems the game was started a little late. South seemed nervous and unsettled in the first set. Some early miscues allowed North to go up 17-9 early. South rallied back to pull within a point 18-19. But then resumed their sloppy play and allowed the ball to fall several times sparking a North win 25-20.

The next two sets were split with South winning the next one decisively 25-14, and then North doing the same to South with a solid 25-16 win. North’s Abbie Schlater had some vicious spikes during this set to put North up 2-1. It seemed that the momentum was with North at this point.

But South was determined in the 4th set. It was a rubber band match where South got an early lead and North gamely hung onto their heels. They would close the gap only to have South pull ahead again. North was able to tie late in the match at 21 all. But then South went on a 4-1 run to put the set away with a 25-22 win. The last and deciding set saw the score tied 3 times. After a 9-9 tie, South went on another late rally to win the set and the game 15-10. South’s ability to finish strong in the last two sets was key to their victory.

“It was an awesome contest.” exclaimed South’s Coach Roberts after the game. “It was a traditional North – South rivalry. We were a little down this year and knew that they would be the team to beat. The game was in our own facility. We wanted to protect this floor and claim the victory. In the first set, the team was a little rattled. It was a matter of focusing and getting their heads back into the game.”

Coach Roberts was asked about South taking the last two sets, “I preach focus and execution. If they buy into that and realize that they can just let a mistake go and work on the next thing then we can get on a roll and act as a team. Our blockers, Amanda Beneke and Taylor Baker were critical – it allowed them not to run the middle. “

Next weeks coverage will be football - Dixie vs. Preble Shawnee.

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