LIZTON - Although South Vermillion defeated the Cloverdale High School volleyball team earlier this year, that wasn't the case Tuesday night.
CHS drew South Vermillion for its first round opponent in the No. 45 sectional. The Wildcats beat the Clovers earlier this year, but Cloverdale returned the favor, ending South Vermilion's season in three games Tuesday, 25-19, 25-23, 25-17.
"The first time we played this team they had two girls that had huge runs on us and we had trouble passing too," CHS coach Kathy Moore said.
That wasn't the problem Tuesday for the Clovers. In the first game, the Clovers walked over the Wildcats, 25-19, never once giving up the lead. Hannah Monnett led the offense with three kills in that game while Kristen Schroer followed up with two of her own.
The second game was something different. The Clovers would start off like they did in game one, but would struggle to finish.
Amber Curtis started the Clovers out in the second game with some excellent serving, good enough for two aces. The Clovers improved to 16-10, but that would soon change. Cloverdale gave up its six-point lead in a matter of minutes and found itself on the near brink of a loss.
But when it looked like the Clovers would lose game two, Curtis stepped up and finished the job with some precise serving to get the Clovers to match point. Ashley Arnold finished the job stuffing a Wildcat spike for the winning point to win, 25-23.
"The second game is when we had our consistency problem. We will win the first game big and then struggle in the next. We just fluttered too much and that is something we can't do. We should be able to go into the second game with the same attitude that we have when we win the first game," Moore said.
In game three, the Clovers had the worst start they had all night. Cloverdale fell to a 5-0 run in the first few minutes.
However, the Clovers were able to overcome their bad start and battled back with some good serving and excellent defense to take the lead for the first time at 9-8 and never trail again.
"I'm a firm believer that you can't miss a serve at a certain point in a game, and one of them being the first serve of the game, and that is what we did," Moore said. "If you miss the first serve of the game, you can set a bad tone for the team for the remainder of the game."
The Clovers fell behind in the beginning of the game due to a missed serve, but it was Koosman's ace that won the match for the Clovers and advanced them to the semifinals to face Tri-West - a team that defeated them in three games just two weeks ago.
"Tri-West is bigger than us and they can hit the ball hard and fast, but I think we can play with them," Moore said. "We will need to get our defense up on the net to stop their attacks."
Net defense is one thing that the Clovers didn't have to worry about Tuesday. Arnold recorded five blocks and Koosman, Kristen McCammon, Emily Puffer and Schroer all had one block each. The Clovers totaled 33 kills for the match with Monnett leading the way with nine while Puffer, Schroer and Koosman all had six kills each. Arnold had three kills for the night. Monnett helped in the defensive department with eight digs for the night while Samantha Garrison picked up five digs.
It was a combined effort for the team in the serving department as the Clovers served up 12 aces in their match with South Vermillion, with Koosman and Curtis getting credit for three aces each. Stephanie Tutterow and Monnett dished out two as well and McCammon and Puffer rounded out the serving with one ace each.
The Clovers will be back in action on Saturday as they take on Tri-West at Tri-West in the first semifinal match at 11 a.m.
(First round of Sectional 45)
Cloverdale 25 25 25
S. Vermillion 19 23 17
Next match - Cloverdale plays Tri-West on Saturday at 11 a.m.