Volleyball Gets CIC Win Over Panthers In 5

Posted on September 10, 2017 in Fall Sports, Volleyball

By CHUCK LANDIS – clandis@chronicle-tribune.com
MIER — Oak Hill was bracing for the very real possibility of playing a fifth set Thursday evening against visiting Eastbrook when Ashlyn Transier took over the Central Indiana Conference volleyball match.
The junior middle hitter helped rally the Eagles from a deficit to fourth set victory with her hitting and setting and clinch the match in four games, 25-20, 19-25, 25-18 and 25-20.
Eastbrook (2-10, 0-3 CIC) took an early 13-7 lead in the fourth set and still had the momentum with a 15-11 advantage when Transier took over. She started the Oak Hill (5-6, 1-1 CIC) rally with a powerful kill over the Panthers block, then made two perfectly placed service aces during a five-point run.
Outside hitter Chloe Rains put the Eagles ahead for good 20-19 with a kill and Kinsey Price followed with another ace that landed in the perfect spot. Transier and Taylor Westgate took over down the stretch and the middle hitters combined for 32 kills in the match.
Oak Hill coach Diane White said she has been searching for a player to step up and change momentum at key moments and Transier delivered.
“She took over with her serving and really turned it around,” White said. “She got that attitude that I’m going to do this and her true grit and competitiveness really came out.
“I had called timeout shortly before that and I challenged them — why are we playing like it’s the last point of the game. This is not the last point of the game and you need to get there and put your foot on the peddle and let’s go. Ashlyn really picked her game up immediately and really seemed to respond to that.”
Westgate led the Eagles with 19 kills and shook off a hitting slump while Transier added 13 kills as the 6-footers were able to control the middle against a much smaller Panthers front.
“She really needed that so bad,” White said of Westgate. “She’s been struggling the last couple weeks with her hitting and has gotten a little bit frustrated and we figured it out tonight and work on some timing issues. She was really able to find herself and it was amazing.”
Eastbrook was able to hang around and even win the second set with its serve reception, where Sierra Shook led with 20 digs and libero Schelly Jones had 12. First-year coach Kelly Arnold said the inability to stop Oak Hill’s middle hitters led to their downfall.
“We were able to come back and play more as a team and we didn’t get down on each other,” Arnold said. “One of our girls said there was always somebody to pick them up or somebody to pick up a pass that they missed or a tip that they missed, and we were just more unified tonight.
“What hurt us was the tips,” she added. “(Oak Hill) was able to hit the donut every time and we just weren’t able to adjust soon enough or well enough to pick up those tips.”
White also credited a change to the Eagles offense with freeing up their middle hitters. The Eagles still ran a 5-1 offense but with Ella Ridgeway and Rachel Arens sharing the setting duties.
“We’re able to run Rachel out of the front row to use her for blocking and it frees up our middle hitters to be a little bit more dynamic,” White said. “They really enjoy that and like that part of the game.”
Oak Hill also received all-around contributions from Khloe Price with eight kills and 12 digs, while Brittany McCorkle had 17 digs and Lexi Carmichael 14 digs.
Helaina Walters led the Panthers attack with seven kills and Audrey Altum had six kills and six digs.
“In the lockerroom I said to the girls we played much better tonight versus how we played against Mississinewa or Elwood,” Arnold said. “I feel much better, even though it was a loss. We had some good serves and some good blocking when it mattered and we were able to get our fight and intensity back.”
Oak Hill won the jayvee match in three sets, 24-25, 25-23, 15-12. Julianne Gosnell had eight kills and seven digs and Alyssa Carmichael served two aces and made 17 digs.

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