CLOVERDALE -- Momentum has been hard to come by for the volleyball teams throughout Putnam County. In-county contests are scheduled for Thursday and Cloverdale looks to have things going in the right direction after knocking off Union (Dugger) in three sets Monday.
It was a tough first set for the home side as it stumbled at the start while the visiting Bulldogs fought tooth and nail to take an early lead in the match. Behind a stellar performance from senior Holly McCammon and sophomore Bradanne Toney, the Clovers dug in late and pulled out a tight first set win at 25-23.
Winning the first set was a point of emphasis for Cloverdale coach Kathy Moore.
"I told the girls we have to have the first game," Moore said about the matches against West Vigo and Union. "So much now, matches are determined by the first game. If you can get the first game, you really have an edge. It really helps and we've won the first game the last two times. It's helped us a lot."
It was an easier ride for the Clovers in sets two and three as the hosts began to settle into a groove. Winning the second set handily 25-13, the Clovers relaxed a bit more and, while they gave up some early back and forth points to the visitors, closed out the third set with ease at 25-17.
While the Clovers looked slow in the opening game, their progress in games two and three were highlights for coach Moore.
"One of the things I think we learned in this match is that you have to play your own game," Moore said. "You have to play at your own level, at your own speed. If you fall into the trap of playing at the opponent's speed and the opponent's level, you're going to lose. Fortunately, that didn't happen to us tonight (Monday)."
"We were very flat-footed in the first game. But I'm proud of them. They pulled it out and then we started to get our rhythm and we started to play our speed. Game two and three were really our kind of game. That was the difference between games one, two and three," Moore added.
When asked about Cloverdale's trip to McAnally Arena on Thursday to face Greencastle, coach Moore approached it with caution.
"I haven't seen them. I haven't seen any of the county schools but I think anyone can win at any time. I know Greencastle is improving everyday just like we're trying to. I never count anybody out. I'm a firm believer that anyone can win at anytime because I've seen it happen," Moore noted.
That also means that on any day, that team can be Cloverdale.
"I feel very confident that if we play well, we can compete with anybody."
On Tuesday, the Clovers fell to Turkey Run in three 27-25, 25-22 and 25-16.
The junior varsity won its contest 22-25, 15-29 and 15-10.
Union (Dugger) 23 13 17
Cloverdale 25 25 25
Statistics (Cloverdale only)
Cloverdale -- Andersen: 11 points, 2 aces, 8 digs, Jones: 3 kills, Skiles: 11 assists, Oetken: 6 kills, Shepherd: 14 assists, McCammon: 14 kills, 1 block, 6 points, 3 aces, Toney: 15 kills, 1 block
Next game -- Cloverdale travels to Greencastle to play a JV/Varsity double header starting at 6 p.m.