WHERE ARE THEY NOW
September 13, 2013Rossville Middle High School
Central clinical in sweep of Rossville
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 4:00 am
ROSSVILLE – The Rossville-Clinton Central volleyball match has gone five sets each of the past four seasons. But there were no such theatrics on Thursday, thanks to a dominant performance by the visiting Bulldogs.
And it was senior Sydney Unger who administered much of the punishment, finishing with 16 kills and seven aces to lead CC to a 3-0 sweep (25-25-23, 25-14, 25-20) over the Hornets.
“It was our first time my whole varsity career we swept them. It was awesome,” said Unger, whose mother, Christy, used to coach at Rossville. “We wanted to make our mark (Thursday night). We said it at the beginning we wanted to beat them in three.
“It’s always a big game and having them across the court makes it even better because it’s Rossville.”
Unger was the server for a number of important scoring streaks on Thursday. She served seven straight points in the first set – complete with two aces – to give the Bulldogs an 11-2 lead. She was also the server at the end of the third set, turning a 19-18 CC deficit into a 23-19 lead on the strength of two aces and a couple other serves that created problems for the Hornets.
“Sydney Unger is an amazing volleyball player,” said Rossville head coach Jenny Knapp, who played at Central under Jessica Barrentine. “She just takes charge on the court and that’s a good thing for them. Their experience definitely helped and we still got some things to work out.”
Unger also had seven of her 16 kills in the third set, to help Central dig itself out of a 14-8 hole.
“You can toss a dime on the court and she’ll hit it with the ball,” Barrentine said. “She’s an aggressive server. She hit smart and went after tips aggressively.”
Barrentine, the veteran Central coach, was a bit unconventional in using her two timeouts in the third set. She called her first one at 9-6 following three straight Hornet points, and then used the second one after a 4-0 Rossville run gave the home team a 14-8 lead.
But the final timeout sparked a 9-1 Bulldog run which saw CC take a 17-15 lead following a kill by Taylor Smith.
“I just felt like we needed to get off the court, break up the run that was going and let them step away for a second. That was why I called the first timeout,” Barrentine said. “Second timeout was, ‘Get it in gear. You’re a good team, play like you’re capable of.’
“I told the girls, ‘We are winning this in three. There’s no need to give them any momentum. Rossville’s a good team so you give them a little momentum by letting them win a game and then who knows how it’s going to change.’”
CC junior Kylie Crenshaw continued her strong play against Rossville. After playing an instrumental role in last year’s win with a season-high nine kills, Crenshaw matched that total on Thursday – which is also a season-high.
Unger and Crenshaw also had plenty of help. Abby Jordan chipped in seven kills, Tenley Orr six kills and Smith three kills. The five of them combined for 41 kills to thoroughly outpace Rossville’s 1-2 combo of Emily Martin and Mattie McGill, which has seven kills apiece.
“We were hitting well, we just weren’t hitting hard like I know we can,” Knapp said. “We knew where they were going to hit. But right now, it was more of a mental challenge for us (Thursday) and that showed. We tend to be really hard on ourselves and get down. They were able to take control of that. We learned it’s going to take more than hard work. We’ve got to be mentally there and from here on out, we’ll make sure we work on that.”
There was a scary moment early in the third set when Rossville’s Keely Criswell inadvertently elbowed teammate Danielle Memmer in the head on the follow-through on a kill attempt. Memmer exited the match with concussion-like symptoms and didn’t return.
Unger finished with 11 digs. Jordan tallied two blocks, Orr six digs and three blocks, Smith eight digs, Keily Campbell 25 assists, Gracie Stewart 16 assists and seven digs, and Bailey Barrentine 20 digs.
“We had contributions from everybody in some way,” Jessica Barrentine said. “It was nice to see them come together, play hard and get it done in three against a good Rossville game.”
For Rossville, Martin had four blocks, Beatriz Alonso four digs, Jenny Erdman four digs, Memmer seven digs and Brittyn Oliver five digs and 19 assists.
Rossville won the junior varsity match 2-1 (21-25, 25-20, 15-14). For Central, Lexie McQuinn was 12 of 12 serving with two aces, Whitney Ridenour was 6 of 6 serving and Brooke Bishop was noted for her setting.