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Ladybirds lose in sectional opener

By B.J. Hargis
Photo by B.J. Hargis: North Central junior Amber May reacts to the Ladybirds scoring point in the volleyball sectional at WRV.

SWITZ CITY — All season long it has been one step up and two back for the North Central volleyball team.
True to form, White River Valley defeated the Ladybirds 25-17, 25-15, 25-20 in the first round of the Class A WRV Sectional 57 on Thursday night.
Last week, the Ladybirds had defeated WRV in five sets in a Southwestern Indiana Conference match.
“We did a poor job of passing,” said North Central coach Matt Rinck. “When you can’t set up the ball, you can’t run your offense.
“That was our biggest problem tonight.”
Rinck said inconsistency plagued his troops all season.
“We haven’t been able to sustain any kind of success this year,” he said. “We have not been able to follow up any of our wins with another win.
“We had lost two after we beat WRV last week.”
North Central tied the first set at 8-8 with Amber May on serve.
The Lady Wolverines reeled off six points in a row to take a commanding 22-13 lead.
Malee McCoskey served one of her four aces for the Ladybirds as they held out hope of a comeback, but a hitting error ended the first set.
In the second set, WRV couldn’t handle back-to-back serves by May as the Ladybirds led 10-8. A kill by Chantell Bender pushed the lead to 11-8.
The Lady Wolverines then scored the next 11 points, taking a 19-11 cushion. Lacey Walker served four aces during the run as WRV went on to take the set.
“They really hurt us with their serving at times,” said Rinck. “We just struggled to get the pass up too much.”
North Central fell behind 10-1 and 16-3 after a kill by Mattie Thrasher in what proved to be the final set.
But North Central rallied as Samantha Johns made seven serves in a row followed by three straight aces by McCoskey, cutting the deficit to 19-15.
Johns had a kill, set up by Brinley Stone, as North Central cut the lead to 23-20 as Zoe Lowrence made four serves in a row.
But two consecutive kills by WRV ended the match.
“We waited too long before we started playing,” said Rinck. “It was a tough way to go out.”
The Ladybirds finished 7-20.
North Central stats
Brinley Stone — 6 digs, 14 assists.
Malee McCoskey — 4 of 15 hitting, 10 digs, 4 aces.
 Cheany Deckard — 6 of 8 hitting, 1 ace, 12 digs.
Amber May — 7 digs, 2 aces.
Madison Hood — 1 dig.
Zoe Lowrance — 4 of 11 hitting, 2 assists, 1 block.
Samantha Johns — 3 of 17 hitting, 1 ace, 3 digs.
Chantell Bender — 5 of 16 hitting, 2 digs.
Haley Jordan — 4 digs, 1 assist.
Desiree Norman — 3 assists. 

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