Paige Schueren had 12 digs in the fight against the Red Devils.
Paige Schueren had 12 digs in the fight against the Red Devils.

The game of volleyball is all about momentum and sustaining rallies. After falling behind 2-0 to visiting West Lafayette (8-3, 1-0 Hoosier), Crawfordsville got some momentum and earned a hard fought 25-22 win in set three.

They carried that momentum to fourth, as they were one point away from sending the match to a fifth and final set, before West Lafayette caught fire, scoring the last nine points of the match to pull off a 25-21, 25-16, 22-25, 26-24 win.

The Athenians were able to keep things tight throughout the first set with neither team leading by more than five points.

The second set was all West Lafayette. However, things could’ve been turned as Crawfordsville was called for serving out of turn. So, what would’ve been a 4-2 advantage, turned to a 3-2 Red Devil lead. They would ride that momentum to a 25-16 win.

“I was disappointed with the way we came out in the first two sets,” said head coach Kelly Johnson. “We had an outstanding practice yesterday, and we came out flat today. However, I’m very happy with the girl’s effort in games three and four.”

“They could’ve laid down after the first two,” she continued. “Give them credit, they got it back together and fought. I’m just proud of their effort.”

The third set was back and forth throughout, with neither team holding more than a three point advantage. With West Lafayette leading 21-20 lead, Lucy Becker recorded one of her five kills on the night to tie the set. The Red Devils would call time out at 22-21. However, the Athenians won three of the next four points to earn the 25-22 win.

“We made a big defensive change between sets two and three,” said Johnson. “They were putting the tip down so well, that I moved the outsides off a bit. The girl’s adapted well.”

The fourth set was all Crawfordsville. The Athenians jumped out to an 18-8 lead behind the strong serving of Hannah Hungerford and Caroline Schueren. However, with the Athenians leading 24-18, Meg Szymanski and Alex Deryn took over for West Lafayette. Szymanksi would close out the match serving the final nine points, while Deryn had five kills to close out the match 26-24.

“Deryn (21) pretty much took over towards the end of game four, and we couldn’t get the point we needed,” said Johnson. “We’re still learning, and it’s still early. There’s no shame in that loss, West Lafayette’s a good team.

The Athenians were led by Emily Cullen’s eight kills. Caroline Schueren had 15 assists and Kim Hampton 17 digs.

Crawfordsville (9-5, 0-1 SAC) is back in action Monday as they’ll host Lafayette Central Catholic.