Greencastle gets past Tigers, reaches semis
NEW MARKET — Survive and advance is the ancient mantra of tournament play in any sport.
Greencastle’s volleyball team did exactly that on Thursday evening, overcoming a letdown in the second set to record a 3-1 win over Lebanon and advance to Saturday’s semifinals of the Class 3A Southmont Sectional.
The defending champion Tiger Cubs will meet Benton Central (23-8), the team which eliminated them in the sectional basketball tournament last winter, in Saturday’s first semifinal.
The winner plays the Southmont-Crawfordsville winner in the finals on Saturday evening.
The Tiger Cubs opened the first set on a 9-2 run, with Lilly Meyer serving three points and McKenzie Woodall two more. Lebanon came back to tie the match at 14-14, and was still within striking distance at 17-15 when Tiger Cub freshman Anna Zellers took over the serve.
Zellers served four straight points to break the set open, and while Lebanon would cut the deficit to 22-20, Woodall served the final two points to give Greencastle a 25-22 win.
Greencastle led 22-19 in the second set and seemed in control when Lebanon’s Hallie Montgomery got the serve and provided the final five points in a 25-22 win.
“The team did a nice job of serving aggressively,” Greencastle coach Maggie Walters said. “Jada [Amis] and Allison [Stevens] stepped up big tonight. We were able to rely on them to put the ball away in big moments.
“That’s exactly what we love to see out of our middles.”
Amis would be the “closer” in the crucial third set. Greencastle again had a big lead at 24-19 needing just one more point to go up 2-1, but Lebanon scored six straight points to go up 25-24.
The teams traded points, keeping the Tigers up 26-25, before Amis had three straight kills to give her team a 28-26 victory.
“I’m proud of the girls for fighting through even when things weren’t always going their way,” Walters said.
The fourth set was also played closely, as Lebanon led 11-9 before the Tiger Cubs started to take control.
Ivy Wright served four straight points to give her team the lead for good at 14-11, and Stevens took over the serve with her team up 15-12 and reeled off six straight points to put Greencastle up 20-12.
Amis had a pair of kills in that streak.
The Cubs were able to close out a 25-17 win and advance to Saturday.
Amis and Stevens each had 19 kills for the Cubs, while Stevens had five blocks, Meyer had eight kills and 11 digs.
Jalyn Duff had 43 assists and 10 digs, and drew praise from her coach along with Woodall (20 digs) and Wright (11 digs).
“Ivy Wright and Mckenzie Woodall both played really solid defense and passed the ball well on serve-receive,” Walters said. “Jalyn Duff is making really smart set choices right now. She sees where the blockers are on the other side of the net and finds her hitters accordingly.”
Putnam County is guaranteed to have a representative in the finals of the Class 2A Monrovia Sectional, as Cloverdale and South Putnam meet in Saturday’s first semifinal.
The winner plays the winner of the other semifinal between Western Boone and Monrovia.
PREP VOLLEYBALL SECTIONALS
Class 2A at Monrovia
Cloverdale 3, North Putnam 0
Western Boone 3, Covenant Christian 0
Monrovia 3, Cascade 0
11 a.m. — South Putnam (2-17) vs. Cloverdale (19-9)
12:30 p.m. — Western Boone (19-10) vs. Monrovia (19-13)
7 p.m. — Semifinal winners in finals
Class 3A at Southmont
Greencastle 3, Lebanon 1
Southmont 3, North Montgomery 0
10 a.m. — Greencastle (22-6) vs. Benton Central (23-8)
11:30 a.m. — Crawfordsville (6-22) vs. Southmont (22-8)
6 p.m. — Semifinal winners in finals