Volleyball Team Loses Hard Fought Match Vs. Frankton

Posted on September 28, 2018 in Fall Sports, Volleyball

Taylor Westgate 2018 vs. Frankton

Taylor Westgate blocks vs. Frankton.

By CHUCK LANDIS – clandis@chronicle-tribune.com
CONVERSE — Throughout a highly-competitive five set match Thursday evening, Frankton’s volleyball team had one objective — cut Oak Hill’s tall lineup down to size.

And with the hard-hitting spikes of Kate Sperry, visiting Frankton kept Oak Hill’s attack off balance just enough for a pivotal 3-2 Central Indiana Conference victory. Frankton remains in position to win at least a share of the league title while virtually eliminating Oak Hill from contention.

Oak Hill (15-8, 4-2 CIC) claimed the first set 25-20 before Frankton came back to register 25-22 and 29-27 wins. Frankton then was on the brink of winning the fourth set leading 23-20 when Oak Hill rallied with five straight points and pulled it out 25-23 and set up a tiebreaker rally set.

With the rally set tied 8-all, Sperry took over from the outside and Chloee Thomas from the middle and the pair helped Frankton pull away and win the set 15-9 and the match.

“They’re disappointed but they played well and fought hard and never quit,” Oak Hill coach Kristi Carmichael said. “A few points here or there would have made the difference in any one of those (second and third) sets and I’m proud of them. We’ll move on and learn from this.”

Frankton (19-7, 5-1 CIC) has one conference match remaining Oct. 4 at Mississinewa, which also has one loss. Alexandria also has one loss after its sweep of Elwood on Thursday.

While Frankton couldn’t match Oak Hill’s height, Sperry was a great equalizer and finished with 22 kills. Carmichael said Sperry disrupted Oak Hill in other ways and made it difficult to set the offense.

“(Sperry) was hitting the ball so hard at us and we just couldn’t get the block up in time,” Carmichael said. “That put a lot of pressure on our passers to get the pass up, and when you don’t have the pass because understandably it was hit so hard and it’s harder to get the set to where you want it to go.”

Frankton coach Beth Sperry, mother of Kate, said it was the strategy from the start to put pressure on Oak Hill’s serve-reception, and she thought her team executed it almost flawlessly.

“They’re intimidating,” Beth Sperry said. “You walk into the gym and see them and, like seriously, what do you feed your girls. They’re great, but that’s not in our water at Frankton — we don’t get tall girls.

“Our goal was to keep them out of system,” Beth Sperry added. “We didn’t want to deal with their big hitters. If they are if not in system they can’t set their hitters, and then they give us free balls and we can set our hitters. It wasn’t perfect, but it was close.”

Nevertheless, Oak Hill’s middle hitters Ashlyn Transier and Taylor Westgate were productive with 19 and 16 kills, respectively. Westgate also made five blocks and Transier two blocks.

Transier delivered two of the biggest kills in Oak Hill’s fourth set comeback, surveying the court and finding openings in Frankton’s block, and Chloe Rains blocked a spike that netted a point.

“She sees the court really well and she’s a good player,” Beth Sperry said of Transier.

Oak Hill setters Lexi Carmichael and Ella Ridgeway finished with 21 and 19 assists, and Carmichael also served an ace. Brittany McCorkle had 24 digs and an ace, and Coleena Selleck had 21 digs and an ace.

“We made runs and I don’t know why they like to play from behind,” coach Carmichael said. “But they do and it stresses me out. This time it didn’t go our way, but it has in the past and we’ll just move on from here.”

Oak Hill had won six straight matches before losing to Frankton.

In the JV match, Frankton pulled out a 2-1 victory (25-18, 18-25, 15-13). For Oak Hill, Mia Edwards had 22 digs; Katy Jo Camden and Julianne Gosnell had 6 kills; Alyssa Thompson had five assists, and Lexi Ozmun had four aces.

Frankton also had Audrey Cleek with 10 kills, Chainey Lowe with six kills and Thomas with five kills.

The Eagles play at 6 p.m. Saturday at Traders Point Christian, Whitestown.

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