DANVILLE — Despite playing visiting Beech Gove very closely Thursday night, the Danville girls’ volleyball team came away with both positives and negatives from its loss.
Danville (4-6) played well in spurts but faltered at key moments and Beech Grove (4-7) took advantage for a 25-22, 25-22, 15-25, 25-15 win.
“We came out pretty strong and we’ve been working a lot on playing together as a team and keeping our intensity up,” Danville coach Shea Pierson said. “I thought we lacked some intensity tonight and in set two we were up, but didn’t have a lot of spunk.”
Net play was crucial for both teams and each had one player dominate in that area. Danville sophomore Olivia Hartman finished with 11 kills and seven blocks.
“She’s a captain and is a huge presence at the net and at the serving line,” Pierson said. “We look for big things from her.”
Beech Grove junior Lizzie Giller was equally effective for the Hornets, disrupting the Warriors on several fronts.
“Lizzie has been our number one threat this year and we rely on her,” Beech Grove coach Lindsey Hall said.
Danville built a sizable lead in the first set before Beech Grove took a 14-13 edge. The Hornets took a 20-15 advantage and the Warriors closed to 23-20, but couldn’t get any closer.
Beech Grove tried to maintain its momentum in the second set. However, behind the strong serving of Emma Deaton, Danville took an 11-6 lead and tried to carry that to victory.
But Beech Grove mounted a strong comeback and rallied, tying the match at 22-22. The Hornets went on to finish off the Warriors with a 3-0 run.
“I think we did a great job of not giving up and everyone stepped up and did what was needed,” Hall said.
The outcome was disappointing for Pierson and the Warriors, as it was an example of what they came into the match not wanting to do. Danville had a chance to even things up and close out a game, but could not get it done.
“We got up and got comfortable and we don’t finish,” Pierson said. “Our goal tonight was to finish games and we did it in the third, but not in the second.”
The two teams battled back and forth in the third game, but Danville eventually pulled away, using two 3-0 runs en route to a 10-point margin of victory.
With a 2-1 lead, Beech Grove came out to finish the match. Danville stayed with the Hornets early on, but never looked steady. The Warriors kept it close with the match tied at 12-12, but Beech Grove went on a 13-3 spurt to end the set and match.
Lauren Catellier led Danville with 29 assists and Hartman led in both blocks and kills. Zoe Skinner tallied nine digs and Catellier recorded eight. Brooke Hampton had 10 kills on the night.
“We need to learn to finish games and stop the errors from taking the air from our balloon,” Pierson said.