Volleyball: Rebels show 'mean side' against Pioneers

September 10, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - They may not be the meanest girls on the block, but Boyle County's volleyball players went a long way Thursday toward proving that they're plenty tough enough.

A young Boyle team showed the kind of toughness their coach hoped she would see during a grueling second game against a determined Harrodsburg team.

TheRebels lost two leads, then staved off two game points before scoring three straight points to close out a 25-8, 28-26 victory and pass an important early-season test.

"It tested our mental game, which is good," Boyle coach Dana Stigall said. "Our mental game has probably been the weakest part of our game, and that's really been our focus."


Stigall said she likes her team, which has only a couple of players who earned significant varsity playing time last season, but she said she'd like to see the Rebels pick up some toughness.

"I have a really nice group of girls, but sometimes that doesn't make for your most aggressive team," she said. "We've been trying to get a little fight, a little aggression, a little of the mean side out of them."

Meagan Lankford, Boyle's only senior, said the team showed its ability to fight through adversity after Harrodsburg took control late in the second game.

"Once they got a couple of points on us, in the past we would pretty much fall apart," Lankford said.

The Boyle girls might have thought they were in for an easy night after cruising through the first game, but the second game would be no cakewalk.

"I think we maybe were a little too overconfident," Stigall said. "It took us a while to realize, 'Hey, we could really lose this game.'"

Boyle (8-6) pulled out to a 10-6 lead, only to see Harrodsburg (8-3) rally to go up 17-14. The Lady Rebels regrouped and went on a 10-2 run that left them with a 24-19 lead and five match points. Harrodsburg came back once more, tying the game at 24-all and taking leads of 25-24 and 26-25. (Games must be won by at least two points.)

"Harrodsburg showed a lot of character to play the way they did in the second game," Stigall said.

But Boyle showed more mettle, bouncing back to go up 27-26 and finishing off the Pioneers when a return of Holly Carter's serve went long.

The win was the latest measure of progress for a Boyle team that has won three of its last four matches.

"I actually think our skills are better than what our record shows," Lankford said.

Stigall said she felt her team peaked too soon last year, and she tried to prevent that this season in part by playing a more challenging early-season schedule.

The Rebels imposed their will on Harrodsburg in the first game, racing to a 16-5 lead on their way to an easy victory.

"I'm pleased with the way we came out fighting in the first game, and I'm pleased with the way we fought back in the second game," she said.

Carter and Rachel Staub had five kills each for Boyle, and Carter had four of hers in the second game. Lankford had a team-high six service aces, and Bruna Lozano had five.

Boyle cooled off a hot Harrodsburg team that had won seven of eight matches and five in a row since a loss to Casey County in the first week of the season.

Harrodsburg's coaches and players left the building hastily after the match and were not available for comment.

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