For The Tribune
The Seymour volleyball team didn’t have enough strength at the net to match 6-foot-2 Gwyn Jones and her Floyd Central teammates in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
The Highlanders, who came into the match ranked No. 8 in the coaches’ Class 4A poll, went home with a 25-23, 27-25, 25-14 win.
The first two sets weren’t decided until the Highlanders put the final point on the scoreboard.
The Owls fell behind 12-6 in the first set before rallying to cut its deficit to 15-13.
Floyd regained the momentum at 17-13, but again the Owls rallied behind the attacking of Emilee Pollmann to close to 19-18.
The Highlanders were leading 21-18 when Seymour senior Chandler Clark came down on a teammates’ foot, hurting her left ankle, and sat on the bench and cheered for her teammates the remainder of the match.
Owls coach Holly Birdsong said not having Clark definitely had an effect on her team.
“It put us down some,” she said. “Hannah (Sipe) did run our offense a lot in the summer when Chandler had been sick, so it wasn’t something we totally had not practiced. We were used to that, but again when we were throwing other players into positions they weren’t used to playing, Hannah wasn’t able to tell them where to go.”
The Owls closed to 24-23 before the Highlanders scored the final point.
The second set was a lot like the first in that the visitors moved on top 10-5 before the Owls rallied, with a kill by Brooklin Klopf closing the difference to 11-8.
The Highlanders were leading 14-10 when the Owls experienced one of their best rallies of the night as Sipe and Mikayla Fee came up with kills. After the visitors scored a point on a service error, Pollmann had back-to-back kills to tie the match at 15.
Another attack by Fee put the Owls on top 25-24 before the Highlanders scored the final three points.
Birdsong said she was hoping the Owls could have pulled out one of those sets.
“I think they really needed a win after coming off of Saturday with those losses,” she said. “It would have been really great for them to push through. I don’t feel we gave up as much as we did on Saturday, so we had an improvement from that.
“I saw them work more as a team together today, and luckily we’ll get several chances to get back at Floyd before the season is over.”
The Owls had a 5-4 lead in the third set before Floyd scored four straight points to lead the rest of the way.
The closest Seymour came after that was 9-7.
“I think some of it is fatigue, and I think some of it was putting people in positions that they hadn’t been practicing at all,” Birdsong said about the Owls’ effort in the third set. “We were just trying to tell people where to go on top of doing their job. Our passing fell apart and no one knew what to do after that.
“They have some good athletes, so for us to stay up with them with the changes that we made, and after coming off of Saturday, I’m happy, but I’m not satisfied with what happened.”
It seemed like every time the Owls rallied to draw close, Jones came up with a kill to give the momentum back to the Highlanders.
The Owls (3-3) will play host to Jennings County on Thursday night.