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August 20, 2013

H.S. VOLLEYBALL: Warriors prove worthy of expectations in opening win

CAI starts season with 25-17, 25-13, 21-25, 25-12 victory at Henryville

HENRYVILLE — The Christian Academy Warriors are expected to be one of the top Class A volleyball teams in Indiana during the 2013 season.

On Tuesday night at Furnish Gymnasium, they showed they are worthy of all that hype.

Christian Academy got solid play from its middle hitter duo of Krista Boesing and Sierra Rayzor to defeat Henryville, 25-17, 25-13, 21-25, 25-12.

It was the season opener for both teams.

“I think we had a couple of key blocks to help us out,” Warriors’ coach Walter Pauly said. “Our hitting started to come alive and serving was our key tonight. We served aggressively in zone after zone after zone. That was good for us.”

Henryville coach Shallon Hill left the match impressed with CAI and wished the Hornets, who are now a Class 2A school, remained in the same Class A sectional with the Warriors.

“Christian Academy is a tough team. I wish we were still in the Class A sectional — I really do,” Hill said. “They are a great, great, great team, and they are going to give a lot of great teams a run for their money. I wish them the best.”

Boesing, a junior, led CAI in kills (12), blocks (three) and digs (three) and delivered three service aces. Rayzor, who is a freshman, finished with 11 kills and a team-high four aces, while Warrior senior Emily Haworth smacked eight kills. CAI sophomore setter Alex Falcone made 28 assists.

“Our freshman middle hitter, Sierra Rayzor, really stepped up big,” Pauly said. “Krista Boesing really didn’t get going until the end of the match. She’s going to be somebody to contend with in this area of Indiana. Emily Haworth stepped up big and had some good swings. Alex Falcone, my sophomore setter, stepped in and did a really nice job. She moved the ball around pretty consistently.”

After scoring the final eight points to win game one, Christian Academy transferred that momentum into the second set by tallying the first five points and pulling out to a 17-4 lead. The farthest the Hornets trimmed down their deficit in game two was nine points.

The Warriors got off to a solid start in the third set. They reeled off the first four points of the game and pulled out to a 6-3 lead.

Henryville took the lead in the game for good at 8-7 when middle blocker Haley Huddleston made one of her three blocks in the match.

The Hornets got their advantage up to as high as five at 19-14. CAI sliced its deficit to 22-21, but Henryville sewed up the set by scoring the final three points.

“Even though we were down score-wise in every [set], my girls didn’t give up mostly,” Hill said. “They fought through and that is huge. It’s definitely a big improvement from last year. They didn’t roll over and they overcame things.”

Christian Academy rebounded well in game four. The Warriors started the set tallying 11 of the first 14 points and extended their advantage to 18-4.

Henryville got within 21-12 late in the set on an ace by Emma Hendricks. But the Warriors wrapped up the victory with four consecutive points.

“We were slow to the blocks. Blocking is something we work on a lot. It’s just a matter of being quick and being smart and reading [the opposing blockers],” Hill said. “In order to compete with teams like [the Warriors], Silver Creek and Providence, we have to be better defensively, for sure. We know we need to get better at that.”

Pauly was happy that he got several of his troops some playing time on Tuesday.

“In order to be a solid team, we’ve got to get a lot of girls playing and we’ve got to give them the opportunity,” Pauly said. “That experience is going to help us down the road getting everybody in the game.”

Sophomore Cassidy Mull paced the Henryville hitters with 11 kills.

“She’s going to do great, great things for us,” Hill said. “She’s going to be a huge asset to us. She’s really going to be a key to our offense. She’s a great leader, she knows the game and she’s smart. She wants to be great and she’s just a sponge. She absorbs everything you say.”

Also for Henryville, sophomore Kelsey Johnson made 19 digs, Hendricks served a match-high five aces and senior Courtney Rappe made three blocks.

Christian Academy will play in the Kokomo Invitational on Saturday. The Hornets will visit West Clark rival Silver Creek on Thursday.

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