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The Lady Panthers volleyball team (3-7) stayed close most of the match against the visiting Lady Bearcats of Walton-Verona, but were ultimately unable to put a winning run together. They lost 25-18, 25-20 Tuesday night.
Head Coach Kristen Arbinger said her team played well, despite the final score, and noted Walton-Verona’s consistency as a quality she wants her team to develop.
“One day we’re up, and one day we’re down, and we’ve been kind of all over the place this season,” she said.
This is evidenced in the previous week’s back-to-back matches against Trimble County. Carroll County won two hard-fought games at Trimble on Thursday Sept. 2 before turning around and playing them again Saturday Sept. 4 in the 8th Region All “A” Classic. After playing “probably the best they’ve played all year” Thursday, Arbinger said her team just wasn’t ready to play Saturday, losing 25-20, 25-14.
Arbinger said having strong leadership and mentally focusing in preparation for a game will help her team improve.
Against Walton-Verona, the lack of long runs by either team showed the teams were very evenly matched, Arbinger said. Unfortunately, each time the Lady Panthers looked poised to make a run, a serve would hit the net. Arbinger said this has not been a problem all season and hopes to improve in that area before their next match.
Arbinger praised the development of freshman Kristen “Doodle” Amick in her first year as a setter, which has helped alleviate some of the load from senior setter Kyndal Curry.
“(Kristen’s) really coming along and that opens up a hitting spot for Kyndal, and I feel like Kyndal has really been doing well in that arena since she hasn’t experienced … that role as a hitter.”
Curry led the team with 18 digs and six kills in the match. Senior Tasha Hunter also contributed 10 digs, and senior Jill Butcher had four kills.
“Jill in that first game was hitting the ball harder than I have seen her hit all year,” Arbinger said. “You could tell her adrenaline, her emotion, everything was just pumping. She was ready, she really was. Four kills doesn’t say much for her, but man, was she just cramming the ball.”
Arbinger also commented on the play of junior Alyssa Hartman, the team’s libero or defensive specialist.
“She taken on that role and just ran with it,” she said. “She’s done an excellent job with that this year.”