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Bloomfield knocks off North Central at volleyball sectional


CLAY CITY — North Central High School concluded its 2020 volleyball season with a 25-11, 25-6, 25-3 loss to Bloomfield in the opening match of Class A Clay City Sectional 57 on Thursday night.

Bloomfield, the defending sectional champions, improved to 18-6, including a 25-11, 25-13, 25-12 win over the Ladybirds at North Central on Sept. 2.

“Bloomfield has a good team,” said North Central coach Heather McCoskey, who’s Ladybirds finished the season with a 6-21 record. “They have some really good hitters.

“We got several touches to try to slow them down, but we had trouble making the pass. If you can’t do that, you are going to struggle to run your offense and we did.”

Part of the reason was that North Central was still without injured setters Braiden Bell and Keira Bledsoe.

“We worked all week on running our offense,” said McCoskey. “Having to adjust to two new setters was not an easy thing to do, especially this late in the season.

“I thought that Emmy (Woodruff) and Brynn (Varner) stepped into less than ideal circumstances and did the best they could.”

North Central had its best spurt in the opening set.

A tip kill by Kathryn Ison and an ace served by Malee McCoskey tied the score at 7-all.

But North Central only managed four points, compared to 18 from Bloomfield as Gracie Lowry had three winners and Kylee Shelton one to account for the final four points of set one.

“We came out and were ready to play,” said coach McCoskey. “I think we might have had them scared a little bit early.

“But we were not able to maintain our momentum.”

North Central gave up five aces as they struggled in the second set. Brooklyn Bucher made 13 consecutive serves, including three aces, as the Lady Cardinals closed the set with a 20-2 run.

The Ladybirds only had three attempted serves in what proved to be the final set.

Bucher connected on 11 serves in a row as the Lady Cardinals closed out the contest.

Seniors McCoskey and Makenzee Shepherd-Wilson suited up for the Ladybirds for the final time. 

“This is not the way we wanted to end it for our seniors,” said coach McCoskey. “They gave us great effort and leadership over the past four seasons.

“But there is a good, young group of players returning that have the capability of putting things together in the future. I was proud of the way the girls competed. We had really good fan support even though we had a tough season. We were happy about that.”

North Central stats

Malee McCoskey: 1 ace, 5 kills, 9 digs

Makenzee Shepherd-Wilson: 2 digs

Kathryn Ison: 2 kills, 1 block, 8 digs

Abby Wheaton: 2 blocks, 1 dig

Brynn Varner: 2 assists, 1 dig

Emmy Woodruff: 4 assists, 6 digs

Hope Crooks: 8 digs.

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