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 Junior Varsity Volleyball Team Captures County

October 10, 2007 - Knightstown’s junior varsity volleyball team captured the Henry County championship by routing Blue River and Shenandoah Saturday.

Knightstown started slowing, beginning the first round with a loss to Blue River 25-16.

The Lady Panthers showed a lot of team chemistry and the back row passing of Kristen Florea and Breanna Bourdeau began setting up the offense. The Lady Panthers used that teamwork to forge a relatively easy second game win of 25-10.

In the deciding game, the lead switched back and forth, with the Panthers finally fighting off a scrappy Blue River team for a 15-11 win. That victory moved the Panthers into the championship match with the Shenandoah Raiders.

Shenandoah had pounded the Lady Panthers two weeks prior in the White River Athletic Conference match, winning a lopsided match in two quick games.

But on this day, the Lady Panthers turned the tables.

The championship match began with the teams exchanging points back and forth. Knightstown middle hitter Brittany Brown found her groove and dished out eight consecutive aces, enabling the Lady Panthers to take a quick lead.

As expected, the Raider offense began their attacks much like they did earlier in the season. This time, the Lady Panther defense answered the call and allowed setters Lindsay Kennedy and Brittney Horth to run the offense.

Repeated attacks by middle hitters Brown and Kelsi McRoberts kept the Lady Panther led intact and allowed Knightstown to win the first game, 25-21.

The second game started with the Raider offense giving Shenandoah a four point lead early. Knightstown battled back from each Raider lead throughout the first half of the game.

Outside hitters Courtney Hastings, having one of her best games, and Kathleen Weiland, began finding their line shots. The lead continued to be traded back and forth, until Knightstown had what looked like a stable lead. That’s when Shenandoah ran off five straight points to pull ahead 22-20.

A key dig by Katy Spence gave the point and serve back to Knightstown. The coaching staff made a strategic move, rotating McRoberts from her middle hitter position to the back to serve. That maneuver gave the Lady Raiders a different look.

Knightstown’s front row attack combination of Brown and Hastings helped turn the momentum and the Lady Panthers eventually rallied to tie the game at 24-24.

“It was one of those games that neither team deserved to lose,” Lady Panther Coach Dan Dudley said.

On the deciding volley, the Lady Panthers attacked relentlessly, only to be answered by the Raider defense. The inside-outside hitting finally found the Shenandoah court floor and the 2007 Henry County Championship was claimed by the Lady Panthers.

“I have coached a long time, and I've never seen an entire team pull together like they (the Lady Panthers) did,” Dudley said. “The girls just refused to lose. We chose not to have the girls track individual statistics for either the Blue River or Shenandoah matches.

“I felt that our best chance to win this thing was to focus as a team and forget counting the individual kills, digs and errors,” Dudley said. “This was, without a doubt, a total team win, with everyone contributing".

Dudley extended a special “thank you” to the parents, students and Panther supporters that showed up early Saturday morning to cheer the team on and celebrate the win with the team.

Lady Panther junior varsity team members include Courtney Hastings, Brittany Brown, Lindsay Kennedy, Brittany Horth, Katy Spence, Chelsi McRoberts, Kathleen Weiland, Breanna Bourdeau and Kristen Florea.


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