NEW MARKET — Southmont used a 3-0 non-conference volleyball win over Fountain Central to get a look at some players in new positions.
The Mustangs, who made several lineup changes Tuesday in a win over North Montgomery, used the match to see if they still liked what they saw.
The Mounties bounced back after two Sagamore Conference losses to win 25-13, 25-11, 25-13 and run their record to 10-2, while FC drops to 3-8.
“We had three freshmen come in and play tonight and they didn’t miss a beat,” South coach Lauran Nichols said. “They all stepped it up, which is not only a statement about them, but shows just how strong the leadership is in our upperclass players. They bring the freshmen in, build their confidence and let them play. Our upper class players are rock stars.”
The Mustangs found the going rough from the start against the Mounties, but there were positives.
“We made some good adjustments as the match went on,” FC coach Alyssa Larson said, “especially on our serve receive. Southmont hits the ball so hard and serves so well. We made some adjustments in our blocking and hitting, and we tried some different things. The changes we made Tuesday were the right changes and we will stay with them.”
South never trailed in any set on the way to the win, and while the freshmen were impressive, it was senior Lexi Nelson who led the squad at the net.
The senior, who passed 1,000 career kills Tuesday with a 36-kill performance against Tri-West, had 11 against the Mustangs. She added three of Southmont’s dozen aces.
Junior hitter Kaley Remley, nearing 100 kills of her own on the season, had six to go with three aces. Natalie Manion had seven digs.
Missing from the lineup was setter Sidney Veatch, whose sore back had her on the bench, along with her 290 assists.
In came her little sister, freshman Chelsea.
“She hadn’t set all season,” Nichols said. “She has had a lot of club experience and she is super-versatile, and she really stepped it up. She didn’t find out until yesterday, and she was pretty nervous today, but she was great. She set a lot of different hitters, which was also really good.”
Chelsea finished with 22 assists, and for good measure had a team-best 11 digs. To show that versatility, she threw in five kills.
Fellow freshman Regan Remley, sister of Kaley, had five kills and three aces. “She is all of 5-4,” Nichols said, “but there she was in the middle, hitting some down.”
Dara Watson, making her first varsity start, had two blocks.
“We had kind of lost our swagger the last few matches,” Nichols said. “We just went out tonight and played and had fun. We hadn’t been ourselves lately. Tonight we played with confidence, and with the lineup changes we had to make, we showed a lot.”
The Mustangs were led in the stat column by Alexis Griffin with three kills and six digs. Lillie Fishero had two aces.
“It’s one day at a time,” Larson said. “Southmont is so impressive with how well they place the ball and their intelligence of play. We will keep on learning and working.”
The Mustangs are at a tournament in Rossville Saturday and have home WRC matches next week with Attica and Covington.
The Mounties are home to South Putnam next Monday and Lebanon Tuesday before hitting the road to Attica Thursday.