VEEDERSBURG — Crawfordsville’s volleyball team picked up a 3-0 win over Fountain Central to start an intense 10 days of action.
The Athenians, with the 25-11, 25-14, 25-16 win, move to 16-3 on the season, while the Mustangs fall to 4-14.
A Saturday tournament, followed by four Sagamore Conference matches next week, lay ahead of Crawfordsville as they worked the kinks out after a week off.
The Mustangs gave the visitors a solid effort, but didn’t have the big hitter that made the difference.
That hitter was Macy Bruton, who added 29 kills to her season tally, moving the junior to 335, which keeps her in the Top 5 in the state in 3A, as reported by Max Preps.
Setting Bruton, and others, was Laine Schlicher, who moved past 500 assists for the season with her 39 helpers. The senior stands at 524, which is sixth-highest in 3A at the latest check.
“The kids did a good job after a long layoff,” C’ville coach Kelly Johnson said. “A whole week off at this point of the season is very unusual, and we wanted to get back at it. Hats off to Fountain Central, though. Their defense was solid and they really scrapped all night.”
Mustangs coach Alyssa Larson noted the same.
“You want to make sure you get better by playing good teams like Crawfordsville,” she noted. “We emphasized our serve return, and I thought we had a good night doing that. We tried to, and did take some opportunities that we could find, and I thought we did a pretty good job of finding a few holes. When you face a big hitter like Bruton, she is going to find the floor with a bunch of hits, and you just have to work through that or around that. This team is getting better, and I’m really proud of how we played.”
The Athenians jumped out early and ran away with the first set, but the Mustangs scored the first point of the other two, keeping things close through the first third of the second set, even holding an 8-7 lead.
Crawfordsville put on a run to finish that second set and jumped out early in the third, but FC played the match even from that point on.
In addition to her kills, Bruton had nine digs and a pair of aces, and Schlicher had six digs and an ace.
Hallie Gayler had six kills and two blocks, while Shea Williamson checked in with nine digs, six kills and an assist. Olivia Reed had nine digs also, and added two aces. Alyx Bannon had four kills, a block and three digs, and Liddy McCarty had seven kills. Halle Elliott came off the bench to record two aces and two digs.
The Mustangs were led by Chloe Golia. The senior had 18 digs, eight kills, a block and an ace. Fellow senior Lille Fisher had 12 assists, three digs, a kill and an ace. Jerzi Hershberger had 21 digs and Larissa Bowers had eight kills. Rylee Simko and Hayleigh Elkins had 11 and five digs, respectively.
“Tonight was only the second match we have had all season without a missing player due to Covid, and we still have one out with an injury,” Larson said. “Volleyball is so much about timing and team play. I think the girls have done a good job chasing the ball and being scrappy through the season.”
The Athenians, with a reschedule added in because of said Covid, have a monster week coming up.
“We have Southmont Monday, WeBo Tuesday, Danville Thursday and Tri-West Saturday,” Johnson said, “After a big tournament Saturday. We are looking forward to the challenge.”