For The Tribune

Trinity Lutheran jumped out to early leads in all three sets against Crothersville to register a 25-14, 25-12, 25-9 win Tuesday night in the Bollinger Athletic Complex.

Cougars coach Chelsea Stroub said the match went according to plan for her team as far as controlling each set.

“We’re trying to do a faster offense and make sure we’re on top at the beginning, so I think we did really well tonight,” she said. “I’m happy with the girls.”

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Trinity scored the first six points of the opening set.

Haylee Barker had two kills during that stretch, while Hayley Carter did the serving, including an ace on the fifth point.

The Cougars built a 9-3 lead before the Tigers rallied with four straight points for a 9-7 score, and Tigers

Crothersville coach Linda Luedeman said she was proud of the rally.

“I was pleased, especially in the first game,” Luedeman said. “They came out and did a lot of good things. They got to see what the opponent had, and Trinity is a very good team. I was proud of the way they started working the net after that.”

The Tigers trailed 11-9 when the Cougars went on a 9-2 run to open a 20-11 margin, and Trinity scored set point on a kill by Whitney Rogers.

Trinity jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the second set before the Tigers closed its deficit to 10-6 on an ace by Nikki Hickman.

Barker then served the Cougars into a 17-6 lead.

The Tigers scored three straight points for a 17-9 score before the Cougars rebounded with three straight points of their own and led 20-9 on an ace by Taylor Reynolds.

Any hopes the Tigers had for a win in the third set disappeared quickly when Carter served her team into a 5-0 lead.

The Cougars were leading 6-2 when Barker served her team to an 18-2 lead.

The Tigers weren’t going to go down without a fight as they scored four straight points, including back-to-back aces by Hickman, to set the score 18-6.

Match point came on a kill by Carter.

The Cougars were 61 of 78 with 37 kills in attacks with Barker and Abby Hackman both credited with eight kills, and Kayla Stuckwisch had six kills.

“Our net was really good tonight, and we were focusing on less errors,” Stroub said. “We’re still working on that, but I thought we did a nice job. We had a lot of good serves tonight.”

The Cougars missed only two of 75 serves with 11 aces with Haylee Barker making 21 of 22 tries with six aces, Carter going 16-17-2 and Courtney Barker 10-10-1.

Luedeman said her team needs to improve its passing.

“Our biggest problem each time is our passing game,” she said. “We constantly work on passing. That is the area we definitely need to keep working on. With good passes everything else, hopefully, will follow. It’s a passers’ game.”

The Tigers were 16 of 25 with four kills in attacks with Katrina Christian and Hickman both 5-7-2.

One area Luedeman said she was pleased with was the blocking as Abby Mains had six solo blocks and two assists, and Lacy Hall was 4-3.

Trinity is 10-7 heading to Hauser on Thursday, while the Tigers are 6-9 and are off until Saturday when they will play in the Cougar Cup at Trinity.

Trinity is ranked No. 10 and Hauser is No. 14 in the Class 1A Coaches of Girls Sports Association poll.

“We’re at the mid-point of our season,” Stroub said. “The past couple of weeks we’ve played very good teams. We’re looking forward to Thursday.”