By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
---- — MIDDLETOWN – The Lapel Bulldogs invaded Shenandoah in girls’ volleyball and got a dose of the dynamic duo of junior Rachel Krathwohl and freshman Avarie Powell as the Raiders dominated in a 3-0 (29-27, 25-18, 25-23) romp.
Powell and Krathwohl combined for 24 kills in the straight sets win as they pounded the smaller Bulldogs’ squad.
Lapel (7-10) grabbed an early lead in the first set, but the Raiders (6-10) fought back before grabbing the 29-27 win. In the second and third sets they held leads fairly early on and cruised to victory.
Despite the fact that Shenandoah trailed to start each of the three sets their coach thought that the way they fought back might build some momentum for them as they continue to work on some new wrinkles.
“Any time you come in and you get challenged and you fight through some challenges, that’s a (momentum) builder,” said Raiders coach Adam Leach. “We definitely had a bunch of good challenge points tonight. We battled for some. I thought there were some we needed to get after a little bit more, but that’s a good starting point for us anytime.”
Leach said that Krathwohl embraces stepping up in big situations, and he said Powell is learning to embrace the big moments with each match.
“Especially Krathwohl, she likes to step up in big time situations. She’s the girl that’s got the experience and recognizes we need her in those situations, and she goes after it,” said Leach. “And Avarie is right there learning all those situations and building upon them. Avarie’s jumping leaps and bounds every match we play with the things she can do. She’s really building upon her game.”
He said that he’s glad that he will have all his girls with the exception of Adrianne Trennepohl (graduating senior) back next year, but that’s he’s got to focus on the rest of this season before he thinks about the future.
Leach said he is looking for learning experiences to build upon, as they get closer to the post-season.
Lapel coach Hillary Eppert’s silence after the game said more than any words she could’ve spoken. When asked if anyone’s play on her team stood out in her mind last night, her silence equated to an answer of – no.
She said that she wasn’t pleased with the fact that the Raiders’ had the bigger hitters and were able to cover their spots all night. Eppert felt like her team’s lack of the basics is what was the difference in the match.
After a good showing in the Madison County volleyball tournament this past weekend, she knows her team can play better.
“We’ve looked way better than this,” said Eppert after the Shenandoah match. “This is not a true reflection of what we can do.”
She said that her team is a little “battered and bruised” after the county tourney and illnesses, but she feels like her team will battle back.
Rachel Thalls led the Bulldogs with six kills on the night.