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Harrison volleyball upbeat despite regional defeat

October 26, 2012
Harrison ( West Lafayette ) High School

Completely outmatched but not intimidated.

Harrison’s volleyball team went into Tuesday’s Class 4A Carmel Regional believing they could beat the nationally-ranked Greyhounds.

The Raiders fell 25-12, 25-11, 25-22, but left with their heads up knowing there were moments where Class 4A No. 2 Carmel (35-1) was on its heels.

“We’ve had confidence the past few days, and Hayley (Sinnott) has been sending us inspirational quotes through text messages,” senior Shannon Garner said. “When we play hard, we can beat any team. We’re a team that fights, and that game showed our strength.”

The Greyhounds, ranked 16th nationally by MaxPreps, rode the right arm of sophomore Carly Skjodt, who had 12 kills. Carmel advances to Saturday’s Huntington North Semistate.

But it was Harrison that came out the aggressor.

Back-to-back kills by Kassandra Williams and an ace by Kayla Ostrom gave the Raiders (21-12) the first three points. Harrison led 5-1 before Carmel’s 14-3 run.

“We fought the entire time, and anyone who played, there’s no reason why they should be ashamed,” Garner said. “I am so proud of my team. We just played awesome.”

Harrison again built an early lead in Game 3, going up 7-1. Ostrom had two aces, Ashlyn Dunwoody had two kills and Brynn Roy and Kassandra Williams teamed up for a block during a 7-0 Harrison run. After Williams’ kill put the Raiders ahead 8-2, Carmel went on a run of its own.

Despite a lack of offensive statistics, the Greyhounds scored 10 straight points to surge ahead 11-8. Harrison had six hitting errors, a net violation and a double hit to contribute to the Carmel run. Emily Stebbins’ kill was the lone offensive score for Carmel during the run.

“We played right with them. The score at the end where it was 22-25, I think we should be so proud of it because we put all of our heart into that,” said Dunwoody, who led Harrison with seven kills. “We did go into the match confident. We didn’t want to hold our heads down against them, because confidence always brings up energy.”

The loss came as the final high school volleyball match for six seniors, including Ostrom, Sinnott and Garner. Sinnott led the Raiders with 15 digs in her final match. Ostrom served five aces and dished 21 assists and senior Ashley Francis had two blocks. It was also the final match for Savannah Rider and Kylie Hawks, who has been sidelined with concussion symptoms since September.

“Coming in this year as a new player on a team, all the seniors welcomed me and I appreciate that with all of my heart,” Dunwoody said.

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