By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
---- — LAPEL — Elwood and Lapel had their hands full in pool play for the Madison County Volleyball tournament with two-time champion Madison-Grant in their bracket, and the Argylls did what was expected Thursday by going 2-0 in Pool A at Lapel.
Madison-Grant 2, Lapel 0The first set of the match was back-and-forth as both teams sized each other up, but the Argylls caught fire late on the way to the first set win, 25-15.
Madison-Grant was up just one point (16-15) before rattling off the next eight to capture the first set, and in the second set the Argylls led wire-to-wire for the 25-14 victory.
Madison-Grant 2, Elwood 0The Argylls jumped out to a commanding lead in both sets of their match against Elwood before late comebacks fell short for the Panthers.
Madison-Grant took a 7-1 lead in the first set and led by as many as eight points (21-13) before cruising to the 25-18 first-set win.
In the second set, things were knotted at 4-4, but the Argylls started getting serious by capturing the next eight points to take a 12-4 lead. Their lead would swell to as big as 10 points (20-10) before heading to the buses with a 25-18 win.
After losing to Mississinewa on Wednesday night, Madison-Grant coach Bob Holloway thought his kids played relaxed.
“It was nice. I thought that we played really relaxed and confident, we had a really tough match last night, we lost in five to Mississinewa,” he said. “Some of our younger kids really felt a lot of pressure so it was nice to see them relax a lot today.”
Holloway said Jessica Hull had a strong performance from his vantage point.
“I thought she played extremely well,” he said of his star outside hitter. “She had some passing errors that she doesn’t normally have, but other than that, I mean her attacking, her location on her shots were really, really good today.”
Lapel 2, Elwood 1 (25-18, 11-25, 15-11)After a tough first match draw against the Argylls, Lapel looked to take out a little revenge against Elwood on the Bulldogs’ home court.
With the match tied up at 12-12, the Bulldogs got a strong serving performance from Gabby Cherry to give them an 18-12 lead. Cherry had an ace and Rachel Thalls had two kills during the streak to give Lapel a lead it wouldn’t relinquish en route to a 25-18 victory.
A knotted up second set at 8-8 turned into a blowout win for Elwood as Katelyn Leisure paced her team by serving for 12 straight points giving the Panthers a 20-8 lead. The Panthers won the second set 25-11 for a chance to play a third set and for a better seed in Saturday's single-elimination tournament on their home floor.
Lapel scored the first points of the third set and never trailed again as they walked off the court with a 15-11 win.
Madison-Grant will play Alexandria in a rematch of the past three county championship matches to open the tournament Saturday at 11:15 a.m. in Elwood. Lapel faces Anderson also at 11:15, and the host Panthers open up the event at 9 a.m. against Liberty Christian.