CAMDEN — Having battled injuries early in the season, in addition to being a young team, Preble Shawnee’s volleyball team is starting to finally gel now that those injuries are healing.
“(It’s been a) tough season so far,” Shawnee coach Kristy Cottingim said. “(We) lost seven seniors, so we have a young team (and are) trying to rebuild. Injuries have also limited our progress. We finally have everyone healthy (and) are learning from every match and keep getting better.”
Shawnee lost five of its first six matches, but have since won three of its last five to improve to 4-7 overall and 3-3 in the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division.
The Arrows good fortune began with a 5-set win over visiting Carlisle on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 20-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 15-6.
Cottingim said here team came out slow against Carlisle, but did not give up and pulled out the win.
“(We are) starting to get team dynamics worked out. The two seniors, Miranda Chaney and Malorie Plaugher are really stepping up. They lead by example. They never give up, work hard at practice, and always focus on the goals of the team,” Cottingim said. “They are very selfless players who put the team goals first. As the emotions of the team go up and down, they maintain great composure.”
Against Carlisle, Chaney led the defense with 30 digs and 31 good serve receptions.
“She reads so well and is always where she needs to be,” Cottingim said.
Plaugher controlled the net with consistent, aggressive play with 11 kills 3 blocks and only 3 errors at the net.
“She is bringing confidence to her senior year,” Cottingim said.
Junior, Carol Cappel had a solid match at the service line with 28 good serves and 7 aces and added 15 digs.
Freshman Hailee Howard had a good night with 26 digs and 6 kills. Junior Kaylie Campbell had a strong showing with 13 kills, 3 blocks, and 17 assists. Megan Roell supported the win with 15 assists and 15 digs.
Against Dixie on Thursday, Sept. 7, the Arrows won in straight sets 25-15, 25-22, 26-24.
Cottingim said it was just the second match of season with all her injured players back.
“(We) seem to be settling into a routine. More aggressive and confident. Dixie has some strong players, but had quite a few errors. We took advantage of that,” she said.
Chaney had 15 good serves with 5 aces. Malorie Plaugher had 15 good serves and an ace. Cappel chipped in 12 good serves with 2 aces. Defensively, Chaney led the team with 16 digs. Howard had 15 digs. Plaugher and junior Kaylie Campbell had a great night at the net with 8 kills, and 9 kills/1 solo block respectively. Megan Roell led assists with 11.
On Saturday, Sept. 9, the Arrows suffered a loss in four sets to Arcanum 15-25, 25-19, 16-25, 14-25.
Shawnee dropped its second straight match to Waynesville in four sets 23-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-21.
On Thursday, Sept. 14, the Arrows swept Northridge 25-15, 25-12, 25-12.
Shawnee was scheduled to host Tri-Village on Monday, Sept. 18 and will travel to Carlisle on Thursday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH