Volleyball Preview

Athenians ready for sectional redemption

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FRANKFORT — Crawfordsville volleyball members remember the feeling from last year’s sectional championship defeat as they watched Benton Central celebrate a sectional tile.

This season, with a similar path and almost the exact same roster from a season ago, Crawfordsville is ready to breakthrough and claim a sectional crown.

The Athenians drew the bye in the Class 3A Sectional 20 which will take place at Frankfort. The Athenians will play Frankfort who defeated North Montgomery on Thursday 3-0. Back on Oct. 5, the Athenians defeated the Hot Dogs 3-0.

Despite a win against Frankfort already under their belt, longtime Crawfordsville coach Kelly Johnson knows her squad can’t take them lightly.

“We aren’t overlooking anybody this time of the year,” she said. “We surely don’t want to see any type of an upset in that first game so we’re going to go in there and have to take care of business the way we know how to earn a spot in the finals. It will be a team that we are familiar playing against so we just have to be on top of our game.”

The Athenians ended the regular season with a 23-6 record and were led by the one-two punch of Laine Schlicher and Macy Bruton on offense. Bruton’s 532 kills were good enough for second in the state this season while Schlicher’s 832 kills put her in the top 20 in the state and sixth in all of 3A. Bruton also leads the Athenians in digs with 288. It’s not just Bruton and Schlicher who are key for the Athenians success. The senior group which features Shea Williamson, Olivia Reed, Alyx Bannon, Liddy McCarty, Taedyn Cook and Schlicher all want to end their careers with a sectional title.

“The cohesiveness of this group is what makes them special,” Johnson said. “They’re all having fun and keeping things loose as we look towards Saturday.”

“No matter the opponent, we’re using how last season ended as a motivator for us,” Johnson said. “We’ll have a plan in place for whoever we might run into.”

Crawfordsville is looking for its first sectional title since 2007 and despite the success of the past two seasons, a sectional crown would solidify this Athenian team as one of the best in recent memory.

“Our sectional has alwasy been relatively tough,” Johnson said. “To finally break through and win it all would be huge for us. That’s one of our end of the season goals. If we compete and play well and come out on top, then its meant to be.”

Crawfordsville’s match against Frankfort will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday. With a win, the Athenians would play in the sectional championship for the second straight season. The sectional championship at Frankfort is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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