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Carroll drops match to Henry on volleyball senior night

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By Kristin Beck

Emotions were running high Tuesday night as the Lady Panthers took on the visiting Henry County Lady Cats. It was senior night for Jill Butcher, Kyndal Curry and Tasha Hunter, and the home team wanted to give their seniors a win on their special night. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. The Lady Panthers lost games 1 and 3 by scores of 25-22, 25-17. The Lady Panthers won game two 25-22 to send the match to a deciding game three.

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“I feel like we played hard, we just couldn’t pull through. A lot of silly mistakes,” head coach Kristen Arbinger said.

In game one, the Lady Panthers jumped out to a 17-11 lead on six straight points serving by junior Alyssa Hartman. The Lady Cats tied the game at 17-17 and 21-21 before taking the lead for good.

Unwilling to go down without a fight, the Lady Panthers upped their play in game two. The teams were neck-and-neck throughout with Carroll County ultimately winning after three points scored on serves by Hunter and two kills by Butcher.

“We played well that second game; we came out and were ready to go,” Arbinger said.

Despite the momentum from the win, the teams stayed close until the Lady Cats broke the game open, scoring five straight points for a 12-6 advantage. Their largest lead reached 18-9 before the Lady Panthers clawed back into the game. Unfortunately, the comeback did not come soon enough as the Lady Cats left with the win.

Curry and Hunter led the team in digs with an impressive 26 and 22 respectively. Freshman Kristen “Doodle” Amick led the team with 13 kills, followed by Curry with 7 and Butcher with 5.

Arbinger highlighted the seniors’ impact on the team following the contest:

“They’ve carried the team all year long,” she said. “Kyndal has been a four-year starter, she’s used to the pressure. ... She’s been a setter all four years, and she’s now a hitter as well. She’s been an asset that is going to be very tough to replace.”

“Tasha gets us going emotionally. She always seems to be that girl that kind of kick starts us, whether that be by her serves, being loud and cheering, whatever it is she just motivates everyone.”

“Jill is our quiet leader. ... She knows what to do, and she does her job. … I don’t feel like her statistics stand out a lot, but it always feels like she’s killing the ball. … It doesn’t always show on paper all that she brings to the team.”