NEW MARKET — Bullseye.
That’s what Southmont volleyball did to the target on previously undefeated Crawfordsville’s back on Tuesday night.
The Mounties rallied behind a foursome of seniors and hustle play to knock off the unbeaten Athenians 3-1 (25-23, 12-25, 25-20, 25-19) to win their third straight county title.
Southmont’s (6-4, 4-2 SAC) defense had been a work in process so far in 2020, and it flourished against the Athenians (15-1, 2-1 SAC).
“We knew defensively we’d have to show up against great hitters, and a great team,” Southmont coach Lauran Nichols said. “That’s something we’ve been working on all season and I told the girls they had to come out and bust their tails to the end of the match.”
Natalie Manion led the way defensively with 27 digs, while Chelsea Veatch and Kaley Remley each reached double-figures with 12 and Sidney Veatch added 11.
Southmont overcame a slow start in the first set, taking its first lead at 19-18, before closing the win with a 3-0 run. The second set was all Crawfordsville, but that didn’t phase the Mounties.
Seniors Abbey Gass, Manion, Kaley Remley, and Sidney Veatch led the way with dominance in the third and fourth sets to seal the win for the Mounties.
“I’m so proud of my seniors and how they played tonight,” Nichols said. “They showed up and made sure the rest of the girls did too. They are such a great group and great volleyball players.”
Remley added 13 kills and 3 aces, while Veatch had 16 assists, 14 kills, and 5 blocks. Chelsea Veatch added 10 assists.
“I was nervous about this match, because we’ve had the target on our backs and I get that,” Crawfordsville coach Kelly Johnson said. “I’ve done this for a long time, and just because of what happened tonight doesn’t designate what the rest of the season will be like or how hard these kids can fight. We will be right back in it.”
Macy Bruton led the Athenians with 18 kills and 11 digs, while Laine Schlicher had 20 assists and 11 digs in the loss.
Southmont won in the energy category out of the gate, and Crawfordsville was never able to match the Mounties’ intensity.
“South came out to win, they played hard and did a great job tonight,” Johnson said. “I just really felt like they had the fire tonight, and we didn’t. We didn’t play well as a team tonight, we didn’t communicate. All the things we’ve been doing for the last 15 games just weren’t there tonight.”
After a struggling start to the season, the Mounties are starting to turn a corner. They can finish Sagamore Conference play 5-2 with a win over Danville at home tonight.
“I told the girls and the coaching staff, all the struggles and all the hard points and matches up and to this point trying to get them to gel and trying to figure out this new rotation and Sidney hitting, it’s all worth it to come out against a great team and win county,” Nichols said.
Crawfordsville host Fountain Central on Thursday.
Chargers sweep Bulldogs
The North Montgomery volleyball team picked up a 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-18) win over Clinton Central on Tuesday night.
Ashlynn Anderson led the Chargers with 17 kills, while Gabby Blankenship had nine digs, Lizzie Martin eight digs and Haley Burton seven. Madi Welch had 29 assists.