DOVER — Western Boone kept its place at the top of the Sagamore Conference and moved Crawfordsville out of a tie for first with a 25-13, 25-10, 25-20 volleyball win Tuesday.
The Stars, receiving state-wide votes in the Top 10 poll, used its deep, tall and talented arsenal to move to 22-3 on the season and 4-0 in the conference, while the Athenians dropped to 15-7 overall and 3-1 in the Sagamore.
“Give WeBo a lot of credit,” Crawfordsville coach Kelly Johnson said. “They’re very talented, have played together a long time, they’re great hitters and blessed with size.”
That combination allowed the Stars to take the first two sets with relative ease.
Laser-like serves, kills coming from four different players from all sides of the line and a lot of wingspan at the net made the going difficult for the Athenians.
“We play to our strengths, and fortunately for us, we have a lot of them,” second-year coach Laura Lawson said. “We are a phenomenal hitting team, but we still have a lot of little things to work on.”
The Athenians also caught the Stars on the heels of a loss last Saturday to Indianapolis Chatard, and there was motivation.
“We had the most intense practice Monday that we have ever had,” Lawson said. “We had something to prove to ourselves. They showed us something about setting the tempo of the game, and we really tried to do that all night against Crawfordsville.”
The Athenians bounced back with a solid effort in the third set and were within a point at 18-19 when Western Boone closed the match out with a 6-2 run.
“We made some adjustments for that third set,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t be happier with that third-set effort. We could have folded up and given up, but that never happened, and I’m proud of the team for that. We got beat by a great team, but we proved in that third set that we can play with them. We were aggressive and I think our young players learned a thing or two.”
The Athenians were led up front by Taylor Luft. The junior, who is third in the state of Indiana in total attacks at the net coming into this week with 802, led the Athenians with eight kills and six digs.
“She’s our go-to hitter,” Johnson noted, “and we knew WeBo would try and take her out of our offense, but I think we did a good job of keeping her in the offense.”
Bryanna Brooks added four kills and two blocks, while Kassidy Bonebrake had two kills to go along with her 17 digs and a service ace.
Lacey Garrett had 14 digs, Channing Miller six assists and Paige Schueren five assists.
The Stars got big numbers from all their usual suspects.
Lydia Climer, 15th in the state in assists at the end of last week with 619, added 32 Tuesday.
“She (Climer) has a green light to set to whomever she wants,” Lawson, a 2007 Western Boone graduate said. “We have a lot of set plays, but there are a lot of options within them. Our players do a great job of communicating with each other so we can get the best shot.”
Emily Harrison, 21st in the state with 284 kills before Tuesday, had another 18 to lead the Stars. Casi Neff had eight kills and five blocks, as WeBo in total had 38 kills.
The Stars had three players reach double-figures in digs also, with Harrison getting 14, followed by Kaitlin Miller with 11 and Nicole Chance with 10.
Both teams are back in conference action Thursday, as Western Boone travels to North Montgomery while the Athenians play host to Danville.
The Stars won the junior varsity match 25-20, 25-23.