OLD SCHOOL LIST
VB: Mounties dispatch danville in tourney opener
October 22, 2010Southmont High School
Reprinted courtesy of:
The Paper of Montgomery County
NEW MARKET - Shelby Hall made up for her off-target serving performance last week.
Better concentration and focus helped the Southmont High School junior ace her opening postseason test.
And her late serving groove helped the Mounties advance out of Thursday's Indiana High School Athletic Association Southmont Sectional first-round match.
Hall totaled 19 aces, while sophomore Alexa Richardson had 10 kills to lift Southmont to a five-set first-round IHSAA Southmont Sectional win (24-26, 25-12, 20-25, 25-13, 15-12) over Danville. Hall's serving surged the Mounties to leads in the fourth and fifth sets and they held on in both.
"My main goal was to get serves in. They're what give you points," Hall said. "The more serves you have in a row, the better momentum you have and better lead you can get."
Now, the Mounties have the chance to avenge a loss to a county- and conference rival.
Southmont (13-12) advanced to play county- and conference foe North Montgomery (22-10) in Saturday's 11 a.m. Southmont Sectional semifinal. North Montgomery swept conference rival Western Boone 26-24, 25-23, 25-21 in Thursday's other first-round match.
To get to the semifinals, though, Southmont survived another five-set match against Danville. The Mounties rallied back down two sets to one in their Aug. 23 home match against the Warriors and they recorded the same type of comeback Thursday night.
They did it behind Hall's serving and some timely kills from Richardson (13 digs, 10 kills, three aces, three blocks) and freshmen Tayler Spurr (10 kills, three blocks) and Kayla Morris (12 kills, four aces).
Down two sets to one, Southmont needed a kickstart. The Mounties' serving (33 aces) helped carry them.
Late in the fourth set, Hall took control. Leading 18-11, Spurr recorded a kill and Hall served up back-to-back aces to put the Mounties up 10 points. Hall added another ace to give them a 23-11 lead and freshman Lauren Witherspoon closed out the set with a kill.
Hall had three of her four aces in that set, while Spurr and Witherspoon each added two kills.
Then, tied at 3-3 in the fifth set, Southmont scored four straight points, including a Hall ace and a Spurr kill, to take a 7-3 lead. The Warriors trimmed the lead down to 8-6, but the Mounties went on two three-point scoring runs and closed the match out with a Richardson kill.
Southmont coach Amber Powers acknowledged the Mounties power hitters had trouble staying hot together.
Richardson was strong in the second and fifth set, while Morris played well in the third set and freshman Lauren Witherspoon (nine kills) had a nice fourth set. Sophomore Mackenzie White added 29 digs and six aces for the Mounties.
"All our hitters were on and off at different times. If we could get them all on at the same time, that'd be nice. We really needed Shelby's serving. She focused and got it [the ball] over the net tonight, which was a plus. She struggled with that some last week," Powers said. "As long as we were hitting, I felt Danville was off. It was just a matter of us getting passes up to our setters for hits."
Now, Southmont prepares for its county and conference rival.
North Montgomery defeated Southmont in four sets (18-25, 25-16, 25-12, 25-16) in their Aug. 30 regular-season match. The Mounties will try to reach the IHSAA Sectional 25 championship game for the fourth straight year.
And Hall can't wait for a chance for revenge.
"I'm very excited," she said. "We played North Montgomery home the last time. It was close. But we didn't pull through. I'm glad to have a second chance."