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Trimble tops Lady Panthers for 4th time this season

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By Dave Taylor

The post-game coaches’ comments told the story in a nutshell following last Wednesday’s high school volleyball matchup between visiting Carroll County and Trimble County:

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“We played terrible!”

“We came out ready to play!”

A quick look at the final scores is an indication of which comment belongs to which coach. Trimble dismantled the Lady Panthers quickly by scores of 25-8 and 25-17.

“We beat ourselves tonight,” Carroll coach Kristen Hooper said. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Hooper denied that it was difficult to get her team motivated for a fourth meeting with Trimble having lost to the Lady Raiders three times previously. “No, it’s a rivalry,” she said.

Trimble County coach Ruth Staples said she was afraid her team might get distracted when facing a team they have beaten in every outing this season. “They’ve been playing well. I just hope they keep it up,” Staples said of her girls. “We only have two matches left and I’d like to go in the District Tournament on a good roll.”

Carroll County seemed to wake up for the early going of the second game Wednesday, at one point pulling out to a 8-7 lead and forcing Staples to call time out to refocus her team.

The second game “we came back and we were ready for a second go,” Hooper said. “Our serving was a little better the second game but overall we beat ourselves tonight. That’s not the Carroll County I know.”

The Lady Panthers kept it close for a while, falling behind at 12-10, then inching closer at 12-11 and 13-12, but that’s as close as Carroll would come as Trimble took command 21-15 en route to the 25-17 win.

“They pulled away from us by serving” in the latter part of the second game, Hooper said.

Carroll suffered another loss Monday at the hands of Bellevue. The Lady Panthers, now 15-11, were in action again last night against Grant County. Results were not available at press time. Carroll County entertains Martha Layne Collins High School tomorrow night in their final tune-up for district tournament play.

Staples said her team had been “up and down” after their four-game loss in the All A Classic state tournament, but by “winning the Carroll County tournament they got their momentum back up and I think we’re playing well. I hope it carries over. They’re more comfortable with each other. They’re doing a lot of things that I like. We’re doing a lot of things better at the end of the season than we were at the beginning of the season. Coverage is a lot better. I think we’re playing better and this is the way I want to be going into the District Tournament.”

Both coaches stressed the importance of the continued rivalry between the neighboring counties, even though Carroll and Trimble are not in the same district tournament this year.

“The rivalry matches are very motivating,” Staples said. “That always helps.”

Staples said it takes all six of her girls playing well to be able to win. “A lot of people say Kelsie (Courtney) is our best player. Kelsie is an outstanding player but she can’t play by herself. It takes the five other people who are feeding her the ball for us to be a good team,” she said. “I’m just happy to see all six of my players do things well. I think all six of my girls have stepped up and know their role and are working in their role. And I have some good kids sitting on the bench who could step in at any time also.

“These girls are a good team and I think it’s taken all season for them to see for themselves they are good and they are capable of anything,” Staples said. “I hope they will keep believing in themselves and working together into the District Tournament. I think we’ll have a shot at one of the Oldham County schools.”

Aside from the four losses in the All A state tournament last month Trimble’s only losses are to the three schools from Oldham County – all of whom will motor to Bedford next week to compete with Trimble in the KHSAA 31st District Tournament. Trimble faces North Oldham in the opening game Monday at 6 p.m. Oldham County and South Oldham will square off in Monday’s second game. The two winners will meet next Wednesday at 7 p.m. for the district championship.

Statistically against Carroll County, Trimble’s girls compiled the following numbers:

Kelsie Courtney was eight for eight serving with four aces. She had 14 kills and two blocks.

McKenna Ginn was five for six serving with two aces. She was 13 for 13 sets.

Paige Black was 12 for 13 serving with six aces. She had six kills and three blocks.

Kayla Greenwood was three for three serving. She had a block and a kill.

Sydney Weaver was nine for 10 serving with an ace.

Kayla Baker was two for two serving and was 14 for 15 sets.

The Lady Raiders, 19-7 on the season at press time, were in action last night at Henry County and will wrap up the regular season schedule with Senior Night when they host Williamstown tonight.