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 Spikers Claim Two Big Wins

October 15, 2008 - Last Tuesday, Knightstown High School’s varsity volleyball team traveled to Eastern Hancock and defeated the Royals 25-18, 17-25, 25-15, and 25-14. Knightstown had good hitting balance, getting 11 kills from Michelle Hochstedler, nine kills from Brandi Lightner, and eight each from Alexis Marsh and Shay Pope.

Marsh and Pope also had solid defensive efforts, with three solo blocks from Marsh and two from Pope. The Lady Panthers also had good matches from setters Lightner and Jackson, whose aggressive serving seemed to keep Eastern Hancock off balance. Crystal Heim led in digs with 33, while Haley Cruse added 12.

“I was very pleased with our aggressive approach to this match,” coach Chris Underwood said. “Everyone seemed focused and we played well as a team. Brandi Lightner had one of her best matches of the season in terms of serving and placing her attacks.”

Knightstown finished WRAC play with a 1-2 record.

Last Thursday, the Lady Panthers continued their strong play with a decisive 25-19, 25-23, 25-19 victory at Rushville. Knightstown again had a strong match out of its front row players, as Alexis Marsh led the hitters with eight kills, followed by Michelle Hochstedler with six, Brandi Lightner had five and Hannah Jackson added four kills.

Marsh and freshman Shay Pope made it hard for Rushville to attack aggressively. Marsh had three solo and two assisted blocks, while Pope had two solo and one assisted block. Crystal Heim, Haley Cruse, and Hochstedler played well in the back row, controlling most balls that got past the front line. Jackson and Lightner each had eight assists, and Jackson added five service aces.

“Aside from a short stint in the second game, I thought we were in complete control of this match,” Underwood said. “We were down 17-10 in game two, but with some aggressive serving and strong hitting by Alexis, we were able to get back into the game. I think that once we pulled even with Rushville in game two, they realized this was going to be more difficult than they had thought. We have wanted to attack all season, and tonight we clearly did that the entire match.”

Saturday Knightstown lost to Shenandoah in a hard-fought opening match of the Henry County Tournament, 21-25, 16-25, and 20-25. Knightstown responded with a 25-21, 25-19, 25-17 victory over Blue River in the consolation match.

Hannah Jackson led the Lady Panther hitters on the day with 16 kills, followed by Alexis Marsh with 12 and Michelle Hochstedler with 10. Shay Pope had five solo blocks for the day and was very disruptive to the other team's offense. Haley Cruse led in digs with 15, with Hochstedler adding 13 and Crystal Heim getting 12.

“We played Shenandoah much better today than we did during the regular season, but we couldn't make the plays to finish them off,” Underwood said.

Knightstown is now 11-19 on the season. The girls were at Hagerstown last night (Tuesday) and finish the regular season with a home match against Tri High Thursday at 6 p.m.

The girls play Centerville in the Union County Sectional next Tuesday.


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