|FC claims fourth sectional title in a row|
When the high school volleyball pairings were announced for the IHSAA state tournament, FC Head Coach Bart Powell knew his team would have a tough road if they wanted to claim their fourth sectional title in a row.
The Lady Higlanders beat Bedford 25-15, 25-18, 25-18 on Thursday, October 20
They followed that with a 25-18, 25-20, 25-20 win over county rival New Albany on Saturday morning and then turned back Seymour 26-24, 22-25, 25-21, 25-21 in the championship.
“Four in a row is really tough to do,” Powell said. “I thought it was the first time it had been done, but Floyd Central actually did from 2000-2003.
“New Albany is really good this year and Seymour had beaten New Albany, so it wasn’t a cake-walk for us, we had to play the three toughest team.”
Powell joked that he’d like to say coaching is the reason for the success, but he admits that’s not the case.
“I’ve had a lot of great kids,” he said. “We’ve had some really nice players. When we got to the gym this summer we knew we had some work to do and the work ethic of this group has been second to none.
“We are talented, don’t get me wrong, but I am playing three sophomores and a couple of juniors.”
Powell was expecting to have more uperclassmen this year. Two of them have gotten hurt, another isn’t playing much and one, a move-in from Kentucky, Taylor Hodges, has been a key player this year.
Juniors Mia Swearingen and Molly Ottersbach are middle hitters and Powell said both were key contributors in the sectional run.
“She jumps out of the gym and at any time, she has the ability to dominate a volleyball match,” Powell said. “She did at points in both matches last Saturday.
“Molly can dominate, as well. We have great hitters, don’t get me wrong, but I’d match up our middles with anyone in the state. They are both solid night-in and night out.”
Kamryn Plaiss playes libero for FC. Powell said she and Jolie Anderson were difference makers for his team defensively in the sectional tournament.
“It may have been one of our best defensive efforts of the year and the reason for that is because of the way Plaiss and Anderson played.”
FC traveled to Castle to play for the Regional championship. Results were not available at press time.
The winner of that match will travel to Columbus East and will play the winner of the Mt. Vernon vs. Cathedral match.
Powell said not many people gives his team much of a chance to keep playing past Saturday, but he thinks they have the pieces to do it.
“People think of Cathedral and they get intimidated, but this is not the Cathedral team that had seven division I college players all at 6’ tall,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, they are good, but they have four losses this year and all four of those are against a common opponent and we beat one of them and played the other three very, very close.
“I don’t care who we play. We are really good this year and we have a chance to do something very special.”