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VOLLEYBALL: 20 players to watch heading into the postseason

  • 6 min to read
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Floyd Central senior Kayden Holcomb goes up for a spike in a match at Providence earlier this season. Holcomb leads the Highlanders in kills (211), kills per set (2.3) and total blocks (62) heading into the postseason.

Locally, the volleyball regular season was filled with milestones, team and individual accomplishments, and even a birth.

What will the postseason bring?

We’ll begin to find out Tuesday night, when sectional action gets underway at two sites involving area teams.

At the Class 3A Silver Creek Sectional, Madison faces Salem in the first first-round match before the host Dragons (22-8) take on Charlestown (13-13) around 7 p.m. The winners will face off in Saturday morning’s first semifinal. The second semi will pit the winners of Thursday night’s Christian Academy vs. North Harrison and Corydon Central vs. Scottsburg matches. Jeff Zimmerman’s Creek team is seeking its fourth straight sectional title.

In the Class 2A Mitchell Sectional, the host Bluejackets (20-6) face Clarksville (1-13) at 7 p.m. tonight in the only first-round match there. The winner will face Paoli in Saturday’s first semifinal. The second semi will pit the winners of Thursday night’s Eastern vs. Henryville and Crawford County vs. Austin matches. The Hornets (23-5) are the defending champs.

The two other sectionals involving area teams start Thursday night.

In the Class 4A Jennings County Sectional, New Albany (19-10) takes on Seymour (15-15) in the first match while the host Panthers (4-12) face Floyd Central (19-12) in the second. Bulldogs coach Ryan Woosley and his wife, Alli, welcomed their first child Aug. 30, one day after his team swept Lanesville and two days before being swept by Providence.

“Not a good night, but going home to that I can’t be mad,” Woosley said following the latter.

If Woosley and the ‘Dogs beat the Owls they’ll get a rematch against the Pioneers (19-6) at 11 a.m. Saturday in the first semi. Meanwhile the Jennings-Floyd winner will meet Jeffersonville (9-18) in Saturday’s second semi. Long-time coach Terri Purichia, who notched her 600th career victory earlier this season, and her Pioneers will be trying for their 10th straight sectional title.

In the Class A Rock Creek Sectional, the host Lions (20-9) face Borden (2-17) at 6 p.m. Thursday in a first-round match while Lanesville and Shawe Memorial meet in another. The winner between Creek and the Braves will take on New Washington at 10 a.m. Saturday morning in the first semifinal. South Central awaits the winner between the Eagles and Hilltoppers in the second semi. The Lions are seeking their fourth consecutive sectional title.

The complete schedules for all four sectionals involving local teams are below, underneath a quick look at 20 players to watch in the postseason.

20 PLAYERS TO WATCH

ADELINE BALDWIN, CAI

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Christian Academy senior Adeline Baldwin, right, gets a hug from Warriors coach Chrissy Millen after recording her 1,000th career assist earlier this season.

The senior setter leads the Warriors in assists (255) and recently eclipsed 1,000 in her career. She also ranks third on the team in aces (17) and digs (71), as well as fourth in kills (35).

ALEXIS CALDWELL, NEW ALBANY

The sophomore outside hitter ranks second on the squad in kills (199), kills per set (2.2), digs (206), serves received (340) and is tied for second in kill percentage (36.4). She’s also third in aces (38) and assists (39) for the Bulldogs (19-10).

LANAE CROWE, CHARLESTOWN

The senior setter/right-side hitter paces the Pirates in assists (312). She also ranks second in digs (214) and third in kills (104), kills per set (1.3) and total blocks (14). Additionally, she’s fifth in aces (26). This past Saturday, Crowe notched the 1,000th assist of her career.

ANNA DABLOW, SILVER CREEK

The senior outside hitter is second on the team in kills (189) and kills per set (2.3) while posting a 33.2 kill percentage for the Dragons (22-8).

KAYLEIGH GERNAND, JEFFERSONVILLE

The senior outside hitter/middle hitter tops the Red Devils in kills (232), kills per set (2.8), kill percentage (45.9), hitting percentage (.279) and total blocks (46). She also ranks second on the squad in services aces (45).

CAROLINE HILBRICH, FLOYD CENTRAL

The sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist ranks among the Highlander leaders in several different categories. She tops the team in serves received (387) and ranks second in kills (190), kills per set (2.1) and digs (276). Hilbrich, who is fourth in aces (37), also has a 39 kill percentage and a .285 hitting percentage.

BELLA HINTON, SILVER CREEK

The senior outside hitter tops the Dragons in kills (299) and kills per set (3.6) while posting a 44.5 kill percentage and a .304 hitting percentage. She’s also second on the squad in aces (36) and total blocks (34) while ranking fourth in digs (141) and serves received (109). She recently topped 1,000 kills for her career and is second, behind Haley Garr, in program history.

KAYDEN HOLCOMB, FLOYD CENTRAL

The senior leads the Highlanders (19-12) in kills (211) and kills per set (2.3) while posting a 43.5 kill percentage and .318 hitting percentage. She also tops the team in total blocks (62). Additionally, Holcomb ranks fifth in aces (35) and digs (116).

ALI HORNUNG, PROVIDENCE

The senior standout paces the Pioneers in a number of statistical categories, including kills (341), kills per set (4.4), kill percentage (50.6), hitting percentage (.378), digs (280) and serves received (378). The Purdue commit also ranks second on the squad in total blocks (34), third in assists (43) and fourth in service aces (23).

EMMA KAELIN, PROVIDENCE

The senior setter/defensive specialist is among the leaders in a number of categories for the Pioneers (19-6). The Indiana State commit is second on the squad in assists (331) while ranking third in aces (31), total blocks (27) and digs (162). Additionally, she’s fourth in kills (112).

BREE MARTIN, NEW ALBANY

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New Albany senior libero Bree Martin surpassed the program record for career digs. She tops the ‘Dogs in aces (55), digs (344) and serves received (463) heading into the postseason.

The senior defensive specialist tops the ‘Dogs in several categories, including aces (55), digs (344) and serves received (463). Earlier this season she surpassed the program-record for career digs (1,020), which stood for 28 years. She enters the postseason with 1,348 digs to her credit.

RILEY NUNN, HENRYVILLE

The senior setter does a little bit of everything for the Hornets (23-5). She tops the team in assists (442), digs (250) and service aces (49) while ranking second in total blocks (25) and hitting percentage (.234). Additionally, she is third in kill percentage (30.7), tied for third in kills per set (1.5) and fourth in kills (89).

TESS OWSLEY, NEW ALBANY

The senior outside hitter leads the Bulldogs in kills (219) and kills per set (2.9) while posting a 33.7 kill percentage. She also ranks third in serves received (329) and fourth in digs (185).

ANNA PURICHIA, PROVIDENCE

The senior outside hitter ranks second on the squad in kills (241) and kills per set (3.1) while also posting a 37.3 kill percentage. Additionally, the Eastern Kentucky commit is fourth in total blocks (22) and fifth in service aces (21) and serves received (121).

GRACE PURICHIA, PROVIDENCE

The sophomore setter/hitter paces the Pioneers in assists (438) and service aces (38) while also ranking second in digs (189) and third in kills (117).

MALLORY RAMSEY, SILVER CREEK

The senior libero leads the Dragons in digs (369). She also ranks second on the squad in serves received (341), third in assists (83) and fourth in aces (34).

CHARLEIGH RYAN, HENRYVILLE

The senior outside hitter is among the leaders in several statistical categories for the Hornets. She ranks second in kills (135), kills per set (2.4), service aces (36) and serves received (218). She’s also third in digs (169) and assists (30).

KAYLEIGH SMITH, CHARLESTOWN

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Charlestown Kayleigh Smith goes up for a spike in last year’s Class 3A Silver Creek Sectional. The senior paces the Pirates in kills (218), kills per set (3.0), kill percentage (42.1) and hitting percentage (.272) heading into the postseason.

The senior outside hitter/middle blocker paces the Pirates in kills (218), kills per set (3.0), kill percentage (42.1) and hitting percentage (.272). Additionally, she is fourth in serves received (115) and is tied for fifth in total blocks (eight).

LEAH THOMPSON, ROCK CREEK

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Rock Creek’s Leah Thompson (4), left, reacts after the Lions win a point earlier this season in a match at Jeffersonville. Thompson leads Creek in assists (389), aces (43) and digs (187) entering the postseason.

The senior setter/right-side hitter leads the Lions (20-9) in assists (389), service aces (43) and digs (187). She also ranks second on the squad in kills (158) and kill percentage (59.8).

LIGIA WILLIAMS, ROCK CREEK

The middle blocker is having an outstanding senior season for the Lions. She tops the team in kills (346), kills per set (5.0), kill percentage (65) and total blocks (68). Additionally, the Cincinnati commit leads all four classes in hitting percentage (.498) while ranking third in Class A in kills and kills per set, according to maxpreps.com. Williams is also third on Creek in aces (30) and digs (170).

OTHERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

CAI freshman outside hitter Ella Baldwin; Floyd Central senior setter Courtney Combs; Jeff sophomore setter Abby Dues; Floyd Central senior defensive specialist Anna Hilbrich; Jeffersonville sophomore defensive specialist Alyvia Luce; Silver Creek junior setter Abby Marks.

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Silver Creek's Abby Marks sets the ball during the Dragons' 3-1 home loss against Mid-Southern Conference foe Brownstown on Thursday. Photo by Joe Ullrich

IHSAA SECTIONAL PAIRINGS

All records are through Saturday matches via maxpreps.com

CLASS 4A JENNINGS COUNTY

Match 1: Seymour (15-15) vs. New Albany (19-10), 6 p.m. Thursday

Match 2: Jennings County (4-12) vs. Floyd Central (19-12), 7 p.m. Thursday

Match 3: Providence (19-6) vs. Match 1 winner, 11 a.m. Saturday

Match 4: Jeffersonville (9-18) vs. Match 2 winner, 12:30 p.m. Saturday

Final: Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner, 7 p.m. Saturday

CLASS 3A SILVER CREEK

Match 1: Madison (9-15) vs. Salem (13-5), 6 p.m. Tuesday

Match 2: Silver Creek (22-8) vs. Charlestown (13-13), 7 p.m. Tuesday

Match 3: CAI (6-10) vs. North Harrison (12-18), 6 p.m. Thursday

Match 4: Corydon Central (8-12) vs. Scottsburg (19-11), 7 p.m. Thursday

Match 5: Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner, 11 a.m. Saturday

Match 6: Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner, noon Saturday

Final: Match 5 winner vs. Match 6 winner, 7 p.m. Saturday

CLASS 2A MITCHELL

Match 1: Mitchell (20-6) vs. Clarksville (1-13), 7 p.m. tonight

Match 2: Eastern (14-11) vs. Henryville (23-5), 5:30 p.m. Thursday

Match 3: Crawford County (4-4) vs. Austin (8-10), 7 p.m. Thursday

Match 4: Paoli (2-23) vs. Match 1 winner, 11 a.m. Saturday

Match 5: Match 2 winner vs. Match 3 winner, 12:30 p.m. Saturday

Final: Match 4 winner vs. Match 5 winner, 7 p.m. Saturday

CLASS A ROCK CREEK

Match 1: Rock Creek (20-9) vs. Borden (2-17), 6 p.m. Thursday

Match 2: Shawe Memorial (4-10) vs. Lanesville (11-14), 7 p.m. Thursday

Match 3: New Washington (3-18) vs. Match 1 winner, 10 a.m. Saturday

Match 4: South Central (3-18) vs. Match 2 winner, noon Saturday

Final: Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner, 7 p.m. Saturday

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