Trinity Lutheran volleyball dominated a match against Crothersville on Tuesday evening at the Bollinger Athletic Complex.
The Cougars soundly defeated their sectional and county foe 25-4, 25-18, 25-4.
The Cougars jumped to a quick 10-3 start in the opening set before losing the possession.
Trinity then earned the ball back to put it in the hands of senior Courtney Barker to begin serving. That was all the Cougars would need as Barker led them to score the next 14 points to win a dominating 25-4 first set. Barker’s serving featured three aces and also some strong spikes from freshman Bailey Reynolds and sophomore Chloe Criswell.
Cougars coach Chelsea Stroub said the team was able to play at their pace and keep control of the game, which is always an advantage.
“We played our game and kept our tempo and kept the ball alive,” she said. “We also didn’t make any silly errors.”
In the second set, the Tigers were able to put together a much better string of points.
“They played really well the second,” Tigers coach Kourtney Settle said, adding the team also seemed more alert. “I don’t know if it was because they knew Trinity’s starters weren’t in or if they just woke up after getting beat like they did in the first set.”
The Tigers jumped to an 8-3 advantage behind serving from sophomore Bekah Cook, sophomore Makayla Helt and senior Sam Hurt.
Settle said the team got control of errors and gave more effort in the second set.
“They little their errors and they played well,” she said. “They hustled more and went after more balls. They put in more effort and played to win.”
The Cougars were able to catch back up on serving from freshman Bailey Reynolds.
Reynolds led the Cougars through a four-point run that brought the team within one at 11-10 in favor of the Tigers.
Both teams traded points before the Cougars tied it at 13. That’s when the Cougars began larger runs to set themselves up for a commanding 2-0 set advantage. Freshman Sydney Jaynes, sophomore Ashley Goecker and senior Sami Newmister led runs to help the Cougars secure the second set.
The Cougars returned to domination in the third set.
Criswell scored the first nine points for the Cougars. In the course of scoring, Criswell scored four aces.
The rest of the set features large runs from Jaynes, junior Delaney Maschino and Freshman Elly Carter.
Settle said after her team went down 2-0, they appeared to have been mentally out of the game.
“I told them they had just battled with this team and that they played well,” Settle said. “I think they just kind of folded in the last set because they knew they were down 2-0.”
Both coaches said the game also may give them a little foresight about what to expect if the two teams face each other in the postseason, which begins next month.
Stroub said it helped that her team was able to win because the team could then be more comfortable facing Crothersville if they drew each other or met up at some point in the sectionals.
“I guess it gives us a little bit of confidence because obviously if you beat somebody you have confidence in it,” she said. “We got to see them play, so we can kind of pick out their weaknesses.”
Settle said by playing Trinity, the team will know more about them if they were to face each other in the sectionals.
“We’ve seen them play and know who their strong hitters are,” she said. “I think being able to work on that after seeing them would be a benefit for us.”
The Cougars (10-9) host Providence tonight and the Tigers (2-14) will host Henryville on Monday.