ROACHDALE — Crawfordsville volleyball has been dominating its schedule, losing just two games all season with a perfect 13-0 start.
The Athenians needed to be tested — and on Tuesday night North Putnam delivered the pressure — but Crawfordsville answered the bell with a 3-1 (25-22, 26-24, 25-19, 25-13) win over the Cougars to stay unbeaten.
“We want to play teams that push us, and these guys did a great job of doing that tonight,” Crawfordsville coach Kelly Johnson said. “They hustled and they played hard the entire match. You have to give a lot of credit to them, they don’t let things hit the floor.”
North Putnam (7-7) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first game, before Crawfordsville got settled in and took the lead for good at 19-18 on a kill by Alyx Bannon. The Athenians led 14-10 in the second game and looked to be on their way to a second straight-set win over the Cougars in 2020, but North Putnam didn’t go away. A 13-6 run made it 23-20 Cougars, but Crawfordsville fought back to make it 24-23 only to watch North Putnam scored three straight to steal the game.
“We kind become our own worst enemy in that little run there and got a little down on ourselves,” Johnson said. “And I told them that this is what makes us better. Get out there and take your responsbility for your place on the court and good things will happen. And I think we knew after losing that game it was ‘alright now show us what you’re made of,’ and I felt like we stepped up to the plate and did that.”
Crawfordsville never trailed in the crucial third game, and cruised to the finish line with a strong fourth game.
Macy Bruton led the Athenians with 31 digs, 29 kills and nine aces, but much like the rest of the season, the Athenian star sophomore wasn’t the only one filling up the stat sheet.
Laine Schlicher had 23 assists, 21 digs and an ace, while Shea Williamson had 26 digs, 15 assists, two kills an ace, while Olivia Reed had 20 digs and a kill. Bannon added eight kills, two blocks, two digs and an assist, while Allyson Barton had eight digs, and Hallie Gayler eight kills, three blocks and an ace.
“Macy has a ton of talent,” Johnson said. “She’s got great teammates that support her, and they know shes a go-to, but we also try to keep the pressure off of her. And this is one of the first teams where I feel like I have great defense and the offense to follow it and great offense and the defense to follow it.”
Crawfordsville host North Montgomery on Thursday.