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PREP VOLLEYBALL: Central Hardin rallies past North Hardin (08/15)

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By Nathaniel Bryan

 

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By NATHANIEL BRYAN nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com RADCLIFF — As it turns out, “The Kelsey and Tiffany Show” has a pretty good supporting cast to go with its two main attractions. While senior stars Kelsey Villwock and Tiffany Allen did what Central Hardin coach Wendy Boeglen expected them to do, it was the lift from the Lady Bruins’ lesser-known players that helped them rally for a 23-25, 25-14, 25-13 win Thursday night at 15th District rival North Hardin. “You can’t have a team with just two players. You just can’t,” said Villwock, a middle hitter who posted a match-high 12 kills. “It’s not like all practice we’re working on passing to Tiffany or setting Kelsey. It’s a team effort.” That effort came from a variety of players at different times, but nothing might have been as big as the outing the Lady Bruins (2-0 overall, 2-0 in district) got from sophomore outside hitter Cassidy Sorrells. After struggling the first two games with attack errors, Sorrells caught fire in the decisive third set. With Central Hardin up 14-11 following a North Hardin service error – the Lady Trojans’ eighth of the match – Sorrells had three straight kills to ignite an 8-1 Lady Bruin run that broke the match wide open. “I think I started to get into the match more,” Sorrells said. “It was all in my head and I just had to get it out.” Once it got out, Sorrells finished with a solid seven-kill night. “That (run) was such a confidence booster for Cassidy,” said veteran Central Hardin coach Wendy Boeglen, whose Lady Bruins have never dropped a match to North Hardin. “She’s been playing tough for us, but the way it started, it looked like it wouldn’t be her night.” Or the rest of the Lady Bruins’ night for that matter. North Hardin (0-2, 0-2), whose season came to a close last season with a straight-set loss to Central Hardin in the district tournament semifinals, stuck right with the Lady Bruins early. The opening set featured five ties and never saw the Lady Bruins lead by more than three points. “What happened? That’s a good question,” said Villwock, who was held to one kill in the opening game’s final 23 points. “By the time we decided we needed to step up, it was too late. But we got done what we needed to the next two games.” North Hardin’s key stretch in the opening game was an 11-2 run fueled by two kills from senior middle hitter Karina Sutton and two more from senior middle hitter Tylar Merritt, who also blocked Villwock for a point during the run. “Our middle hitters, both Tylar and Karina, were ready to go tonight,” said first-year North Hardin coach Katrina Johnson. “I think that’s because they didn’t have the first-game jitters like they did the other night.” “The other night” was a three-set home loss Tuesday to 5th Region rival LaRue County. And like Thursday, Tuesday’s match saw North Hardin win the opening set before falling the final two games. “A straight-set match would make me happy. Playing two games and winning both would make me happy. Playing like we did the first game would make me happy,” Johnson said. “This was close to Tuesday night, but I think we played consistently better than we did Tuesday. It was an improvement.” Junior right-side hitter Janna Brawner finished with four kills and two blocks for Central Hardin, while sophomore Maddie Lewis, who started the match at libero before being moved to left-side hitter, had six kills in the final two games. “Everyone chips in and does their part and does what they should do. We’re coming together as a team,” said Allen, who had a match-high 23 assists. Like Allen, Johnson agreed that Central Hardin’s circus is more than just a two-ring show. “They are more than Villwock and Allen,” she said. “They’re a smart team and they play the floor. It’s more than just those two. You have to focus on everyone.” Central Hardin also won the earlier junior varsity and freshman matches. UP NEXT: Central Hardin plays Russell County at 7:30 tonight, Madisonville-North Hopkins at 8:30 tonight and Owensboro at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Owensboro Apollo Summer Slam. North Hardin hosts district rival Fort Knox at 7 Monday night. Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 505-1758