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7th Graders Win County Tournament
October 8, 2008 - Sparked by a loud and supportive crowd, the Knightstown Intermediate School seventh grade volleyball team outplayed Shenandoah and Tri in two marathon matches to win the Henry County Volleyball Tournament Saturday.
Knightstown defeated the Lady Titans in the championship 25-11, 9-25 and 15-10 to take home the first place trophy. The Lady Panthers had earlier defeated Shenandoah 25-22, 12-25 and 15-9 to advance to the finale.
After a hard-to-swallow three-game loss to Rushville just a few days earlier, the Knightstown girls rebounded well and improved their record to 6-4 by taking the county title.
“The girls’ overall play was just super,” coach Cindy Hammer said. “We struggled a little bit in the second game with communication, so we had to come back strong in the third and we did that.”
Jacquelyn Hastings had five kills to go with two service aces in another great game. Casey Back had three aces and a kill, while Patty Jones had a team-high four assists. Sydney Grizzell had three service points on two aces, with two defensive digs and a kill. Emily Thomas and Abby Hawkins led the team in service points with six and five, respectively.
“Hastings, Back, Jones and Grizzell all had great stats in all aspects of the game,” Hammer said. “Thomas and Hawkins came out strong serving in this match and kept us on top most of the time.”
Hannah Gross and Kinzey Stewart also had defensive digs.
Knightstown advanced to the tournament championship game by defeating Shenandoah in another extremely competitive match, 25-22, 12-25, 15-9. It was a huge win for the Lady Panthers, and the team got a tremendous effort out of the two primary leaders on the floor, Jacquelyn Hastings and Abby Hawkins.
“The girls did a tremendous job,” Hammer said. “They were aggressive at the net and we had very few service errors. Abby (Hawkins) really stepped up in serving and net play, and showed she had a lot of heart.
“Jackie (Hastings) was our go-to girl at the net with three kills, and she was also huge for us on defense with the passing situations. She was our leader today, really talking and helping the team work together.”
To go along with her three kills, Hastings also had four defensive digs, seven passes to target and four service points. Hawkins had seven service points on one ace and also had a kill. Emily Thomas had six service points, giving her 12 in the tournament. She also had two passes to target and a dig.
Patty Jones had four service points and two assists, while Casey Back served for three points on once ace, had one kill and two assists, plus five passes to target. Sydney Grizzell had a service point, one kill and one defensive dig.
Hannah Morgan had two passes to target, while Chelsea St. John and Madison Holder both had one dig.
Knightstown committed 30 errors in lost a tough match to Rushville last week.
Jill Gross was the bright spot for the Lady Panthers, serving up nine points on two aces. Thomas had five service points, Hastings four and Back three. Hannah Morgan had the team’s lone assist and Hastings had the only kill registered by Knightstown.
The girls played at New Castle Tuesday night and travel to Mt. Vernon Thursday.
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