Mustangs pick up big come from behind win


VEEDERSBURG – It was the joy of victory and the agony of defeat as Fountain Central’s volleyball team came back from down two sets to defeat Crawfordsville 3-2.

The joy of the Mustangs, and their students and fans, celebrating the comeback, and their second win of the season.

The agony of the Athenians, as one got away

The final tally was 25-16, 25-21, 21-25, 12-25, 13-15. The Athenians fall to 5-17 for the season while FC moves to 2-16.

There were three parts to the match on Dave Sanders Court.

Crawfordsville was in control for the first two sets. They jumped out to an early lead and closed the first set with a 7-1 run.

They fell behind early in the second, but two big scoring runs wiped out the deficit and got the lead.

The third set was a story by itself, as the Mustangs led 10-3 to start, only to have the Athenians use a 12-3 run to take the lead back.

The home team had one more streak, as they used a 12-3 run to take the lead away.

There was no second Athenians answer, though, as the match sat 2-1.

The third slice of the pie was all Mustangs, as they scored the first eight points of the fourth on the way to an easy win, and carried that momentum into the fifth and final set. They scored the first six points of the final, and even with Crawfordsville coming back to take an 11-10 lead, the Mustangs rallied for a 5-2 finish to take the win.

“We did all the things we have been working on all season,” FC coach Lindsey Pierle said. “We are such a young team, and we have been prone to 10 or 15 good points in a set. We told the girls to play through the mental mistakes and play 25 good points. We were disciplined, our serving was phenomenal, and we were really focused on taking their big hitters out by getting the ball deep into their court. Our girls played with a really high level of energy, our crowd was obnoxious and loud. It is great to know that we earned this win.”

Serving was big for FC, with a dozen aces. “We rely heavily on our serving,” Pierle said. “Getting the ball to the back of their court is crucial for us. We want to make other teams have to scramble for loose balls. The Mustangs also had only seven service errors.

“We were missing Reese Price because her grandfather passed away,” coach Allison Manwell noted of not having one of their top players.  “But that clearly didn’t hold us back in the early sets, and then we dug ourselves too many holes to dig out of. We didn’t respond well to the challenge we faced.”

Price is second on the team with 101 kills and 17 aces are tied for second-best.

The Athenians were led by Claire Peacock with 24 assists and 11 digs. Katy Grace Whitecotten had eight kills and Devan Johnson seven to move the senior to 110 for the season. Samanth Rohr and Alayna Hall each had 10 digs. Olivia Hedrick had five aces, including one during an 8-0 stretch of points that the sophomore served. 

“We have one senior and three juniors on this team.” Pierle said. “It’s humbling to be part of this team with them and get this win. Hannah Prickett hit the ball well from start to finish, and so did Jacquelynn Wicker. We made critical saves tonight in critical times, and they were in the middle of all of it. Our libero, Rylee Simko, was just awesome tonight in the back. We played well on our side of the net all night, and that led to the win. Tonight is huge for us going on the rest of the season.”

Both teams are back in action Saturday.

The Athenians are at Clinton Central for a tournament, and the Mustangs are in the Bi-County tournament at Covington. They play Attica in their first match