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 Spikers Knock Off Blue River

October 10, 2007 - Knightstown’s varsity volleyball team lost two hard-fought battles to Eastern Hancock and Tri last week, and picked up a win over Blue River. The girls are prepping for the IHSAA Sectional, which begins next Tuesday. The Lady Panthers drew Shenandoah, 23-4 and the tourney favorite, in a match slated for Thursday evening.

Last Tuesday, the volleyball team lost to Eastern Hancock 17-25, 19-25, 25-14 and 23-25. Leaders for Knightstown were Crystal Heim with 12 kills and Brittany Brown with six kills. Brandi Lightner led in assists with 16. Lightner, Ashley Griggs, and Hannah Jackson each had three aces, while Haley Cruse led in digs with 27.

“We waited too long to start playing aggressively, and once we won game three, we didn’t carry that momentum into the fourth game,” Knightstown Coach Carrie Underwood said. “Crystal Heim started to hit with more confidence tonight, and it showed in her effectiveness.”

With the loss, the Lady Panthers fell to 5-23 and 0-4 in WRAC play.

On Saturday, Knightstown traveled to Tri High for the Henry County Tournament, where they opened tournament play with a two-hour and 15-minute loss to the Lady Titans, 25-14, 23-25, 19-25, 26-24 and 14-16.

The Lady Panthers had a couple of opportunities to finish the match in game five, but were unable to put away the Titans. Leaders for Knightstown were Crystal Heim with 12 kills and Hannah Jackson with 11 kills.

Brandi Lightner and Jackson each had 14 assists, while Lightner added eight kills. Heim also led in digs with 25, while Haley Cruse added 20, Jodie Grant 17 and Lightner 15.

Heim also had five blocks, while Jackson had five aces.

“We were disappointed we did not finish Tri off in game five when we had the chance, but we played one of our better matches of the season,” Underwood said. “Crystal Heim, Hannah Jackson, and Brandi Lightner all had solid all around matches. All of our hitters, including Megan Grant (four kills), Ashley Griggs (seven kills), Ashley Goller (two kills) and Brittany Dreisbach (four kills) hit with better efficiency than we have for most of the season.”

In the third place match, Knightstown defeated Blue River 25-21, 25-15, 25-23. Heim continued her strong play with nine kills, and nine digs. Jackson added six kills, while Griggs and Lightner had five kills each. Cruse continued to control the back row, leading the team with 22 digs. Jackson led in assists with 15.

“I was proud of the way the girls came back to play well after the difficult loss to Tri,” Underwood said.

The win improved Knightstown’s record to 6-24, but the road gets pretty rocky next week. The Lady Panthers will play Shenandoah in the Thursday match of the sectional. The Lady Raiders are 23-4 on the season and the overwhelming favorite.


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