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October 27, 2013

H.S. VOLLEYBALL: Red-hot Highlanders roll to 4A sectional championship

Floyd Central closes out first sectional title since 2009 with three-set win over Jennings

FLOYDS KNOBS — During the second half of the 2013 season, no volleyball team in the state has been hotter than Class 4A No. 6 Floyd Central.

On Saturday night at Highlander Gymnasium, the Highlanders’ red-hot play produced a sectional championship.

Floyd Central extended its winning streak to 16 matches with a 25-14, 25-10, 25-18 victory over Jennings County in the Class 4A Floyd Central Sectional final. The Highlanders (28-8) will host Castle in the Class 4A regional on Tuesday night. The Knights defeated Evansville Reitz in Saturday’s Evansville Harrison Sectional title match, 25-9, 25-9, 25-16.

“They’ve won 16 matches in a row now and they are playing with ultra-confidence,” Floyd Central coach Bart Powell said of his team. “Sometimes we do play to the level of our competition, but [the Highlanders] are really playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

Powell thought winning Saturday’s sectional championship was redemption for a few of the veteran Highlanders who played in the program’s heartbreaking five-set loss to Seymour in the 2011 Class 4A New Albany Sectional final.

“Three of them were on that sectional team that had match point three times two years ago, and that was brutal,” he said.

The Floyd Central frontline player who played a key role for the Highlanders on Saturday was middle hitter Gwyn Jones. The sophomore ended up with a match-high 14 kills along with three blocks. Jones was a force at the net during Floyd Central’s 16-1 start to the second set. She had seven kills during that stretch. 

Jones was very active throughout the sectional because she has recovered from a torn ligament in her thumb, which she suffered earlier in the season.

“This match meant so much to our school,“ Jones said. “We haven’t been here in a while. I really wanted to get the win and nothing was going to stop us. I think honestly our program needed this. We needed a confidence boost. All year, we’ve preached about believing in ourselves and not playing down a level. Tonight, we really showed what we’re made of.”

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