HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

Athenians win county, conference, rivalry matchup

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LINDEN — Rivalry wins just always feel a little better, and losses hurt a little worse.

Crawfordsville’s volleyball team picked up a road/county/conference win with a 3-0 victory over North Montgomery.

The 25-14, 25-11, 25-12 win moves the Athenians to 15-3 on the season, 2-0 in the Sagamore Conference and gives them two more points in the County Chase. The loss drops the Chargers to 0-7 overall and 0-2 in the league.

“Getting a rivalry win is always good,” C’ville coach Kelly Johnson said. “Getting one here is even better. This is a good, positive, long-time rivalry and it’s never been easy to win at North Montgomery. Orange and blue are not my favorite colors.”

The Chargers, coming off a recent 10-day covid quarantine and having to adjust practices and games, are working to put more pieces together.

“We are working together better, our flow is better,” Chargers coach Whitney Hutson said. “We are getting more used to our teammates. We’ve played some good teams in the early part of the season, and we just have to continue to get better and celebrate those positives.”

The Athenians rolled behind the usual suspects, as they jumped out to an early lead in the first set, finished the second set on a 14-4 run, and had to come from behind early in the third to take the rivalry win.

Macy Bruton had 17 kills, taking her over the 300 mark for the season (306). The junior leads the state of Indiana in that category in Class 3A, according to stats reported to Max Preps. She had 11 digs, four aces and a pair of assists as well.

Senior setter Laine Schlicher, who also leads the state (3A) in assists, added 30, giving her 489 for the season. The senior also had a pair of kills, a pair of digs and ran off four straight service aces in the third set.

“It was a great team effort,” Johnson noted. “We had losses in the last week to really good West Lafayette, Central Catholic and Greenwood teams in the last week, and those challenges make us better for the rest of the season. There are always rough streaks in seasons, but we win together, and this last week, and winning tonight, makes us a better team and better teammates. We worked hard and had some fun tonight.”

Shea Williamson had nine digs, three aces and five kills for the Athenians, and Hallie Gaylor added five kills and a block, while Alyx Bannon two kills, a block and an ace.

The Chargers were led by Ashlynn Anderson with five kills, followed by Karleigh Hall with four and Trinity Schroeder with three. Madi Welch had 11 assists and five digs, and Mallory Morehouse had seven digs. McKenzie Schroeder added four blocks.

“We have fewer unforced errors,” Hutson said, “and our energy is better. So is our competitiveness and our serving. Slow starts have been our problem. We just have to keep working hard and not give up.”

The rivalry also meant a good crowd, and both sets of fans spent quality time hurling some well-meaning insults at the other fans.

There is also plenty of volleyball on the near horizon for both teams.

The Athenians take Fountain Central next week, followed by a weekend tournament. Their Tuesday match with Southmont is postponed.

The Chargers are almost non-stop, as they are at a Seeger tournament Saturday, followed by: home with Cloverdale Monday, at Frankfort Tuesday, home to the Mounties Thursday and a home match with Danville the following Saturday.

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