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PREP VOLLEBALL: Central Hardin tops Elizabethtown (08/29)

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Lady Bruins take control of 15th District

By Greg Crews

 

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By GREG CREWS gcrews@thenewsenterprise.com CECILIA — Behind strong net play and a raucous crowd, the Central Hardin Lady Bruins seized control of the 15th District on Thursday night. With last year’s region tournament championship loss to Elizabethtown still fresh in their minds, the Lady Bruins racked up 22 kills and five blocks on their way to topping the visiting Lady Panthers, 25-15, 25-20 and becoming the only undefeated team in district play. “This (rivalry) means everything to the Central Hardin players. … This is the match we have to win,” said Central Hardin coach Wendy Boeglen, whose squad improved to 4-0 in district play halfway though the district schedule. “We have been in this position before. We just have to continue stay focused. We would love to have a season where we would go undefeated in district.” Helping keep the Lady Bruins focused against Elizabethtown was a large and vibrant student section, which likely cleaned out Home Depot’s supply of powder blue paint. “It was great. They just pump you up. Anytime you have fans, especially as many as we did tonight, it gives you that extra boost of energy,” Central Hardin sophomore outside hitter Ashley Sorrells said. “I think that helped having them out there.” Senior middle hitter Kelsey Villwock led Central Hardin (10-2) with 10 kills, three blocks and an ace, while Sorrells and junior outside hitter Kevena Larkins each finished with four kills. Senior setter Tiffany Allen recorded 15 assists to go along with two kills, two assists and one block. “(Kelsey) always has great games. She is such an asset to our team, and so are all our seniors … they all played great,” Sorrells said. “We just came out and knew what we had to do, and it ended in our favor tonight.” Sophomore outside hitter Brittany Daniel paced Elizabethtown (7-3, 3-1 district) with five kills, while freshman Mary Beth Russell racked up five aces and two kills. Junior setter Kelly Morgan recorded nine assists and junior middle hitter Katie Meek had two kills. “We played well in spurts. The problem that we had was that we weren’t able to sustain it,” Elizabethtown coach Tim Hinkle said. “Both teams really battled back and forth. I don’t think we hit as many hard shots as we should have and we didn’t put as much pressure on them as we should have. And if you don’t with a team like that, with a good pass and set they are the type of team that can put it down for points.” With a kill by Russell and two Central Hardin errors, Elizabethtown built a 3-0 lead to start the match. However, a kill and a block by junior outside hitter Rebecca Morgan, followed by a kill from Sorrells tied the match at 3-3. After taking a 4-3 lead on a Lady Panther error, Central Hardin never again trailed in the first game, which it capped with a 7-0 run with Sorrells behind the service line. “We came out focused, working together and happy to be playing,” Boeglen said. “It’s nice to see that excitement in the girls.” The second game was not nearly as lopsided. After four early lead changes, Elizabethtown pushed ahead 11-7 on two aces by Russell, sandwiched around back-to-back kills by Daniel. The lead didn’t last. Central Hardin battled back to tie the game at 13-all and eventually took the lead at 15-14 as they began a 7-0 run with Allen serving, extending the lead to 20-14. Despite a 23-16 deficit, the Lady Panthers staged one final comeback attempt, putting together a 4-0 run with Russell serving, but an unforced error followed by a kill by Larkins drew the match to a close. “I love the way this team is stepping up,” Boeglen said. “The younger players are doing everything that is asked of them. Everyone is making crucial plays when we need them to.” Central Hardin won the junior varsity match, 21-19, 21-18 and the freshman match, 9-18, 18-7, 18-5. UP NEXT: Elizabethtown hosts 15th District rival Fort Knox at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Central Hardin hosts 5th Region rival LaRue County at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Greg Crews can be reached at 505-1754