By KEVIN HARRIS
NEW ALBANY – On Aug. 26 at New Albany High School, New Albany and Jeffersonville exited the River City Invitational feeling very positive.
The Bulldogs captured the championship of their annual tournament by defeating Greenfield-Central in the title match 25-20, 25-16. They earned their berth in the River City final by winning Pool A. New Albany defeated Corydon Central (25-7, 25-9) and Evansville Central (25-15, 25-14) in both of its pool-play matches.
“We played well all day,” Bulldogs’ head coach John Breeding said. “We did what we should’ve done in my opinion in our pool play. We’ve initiated kind of a new offense for us. We’re working on some things that by the end of the year we have to be able to do on a consistent basis. Greenfield is a good team. I’m super, super proud of the girls of the way they played in that entire match and stayed focused.
“The neat thing about today is that we got contributions from everybody.”
The Red Devils wound up third in the River City Invite. Jeff split both of its Pool B matches. The Red Devils began the day with a 25-20, 25-9 triumph over North Harrison. They lost their second pool match to Greenfield-Central 25-20, 25-19.
Jeff (3-5) ended its day by winning the third-place match over Evansville Central 25-23, 20-25, 25-17. Individual statistics for the Red Devils were not provided for this article.
“We had our ups and downs, but (the Jeff players) definitely overcame all the obstacles that came our way,” first-year Jeff head coach Sam Calabro said. “We noticed the little things that we’ve been working on in practice and we’ve been noticing players actually implementing the tiny details of the fundamentals. They stayed positive the whole time. I was very, very proud of how they played today.”
Calabro is seeing improvement in the Red Devils at this point in the season.
“It was a slow start. But I think now the girls are more comfortable with each other,” she said. “We’re going back to the basics and fundamentals in practice, and I think it’s really helping them in game situations. I think the harder we go in practice, the harder we’ll play in games against competition. We’re definitely focusing on the very small details.”
On the day for New Albany (7-1), junior setter Kyla Weber distributed 52 assists, senior middle blocker Allyson Cathey smacked 22 kills and freshman defensive specialist Bree Martin had six service aces.
In the victory over Corydon, Bulldog sophomore Riley Winslow had a team-high eight kills and teammate Shea Collett made nine digs.
Versus Evansville Central, Cathey led New Albany in kills with eight along with making seven digs. Martin had 11 kills and Winslow served three aces.
Against Greenfield-Central, Cathey ended up with eight digs and seven kills and Winslow had six kills and six digs.
Breeding liked how his team persevered in the victory over Greenfield-Central.
“In the second game, we said to them, ‘Guys, you’ve got to learn to stay focused and finish. Don’t let them back into this game.’ They did that,” Breeding said. “We’re doing a lot of good things right now. Our seniors are leading well and our younger kids are starting to climb that ladder.”
Breeding gave lots of credit to his assistant coaches – Shayla Finley, Maria Jacobs, Samantha Miszkiel and Ryan Woosley - in getting the Bulldogs ready for the River City Invite.
“My assistant coaches are really helping a lot,” Breeding said. “Our new assistant, Ryan Woosley, brings a lot of new and exciting things to the table, so I’m really happy with that.”
RIVER CITY INVITATIONAL
At New Albany
New Albany d. Corydon Central 25-7, 25-9
Evansville Central d. Corydon Central 23-25, 25-19, 25-18
New Albany d. Evansville Central 25-15, 25-14
Jeffersonville d. North Harrison 25-20, 25-19
Greenfield-Central d. North Harrison 25-10, 25-14
Greenfield-Central d. Jeffersonville 25-20, 25-19
North Harrison d. Corydon Central 20-25, 25-16, 25-14
Jeffersonville d. Evansville Central 25-23, 20-25, 25-17
New Albany d. Greenfield-Central 25-20, 25-16
NEW ALBANY STATS
VS. CORYDON CENTRAL
Riley Winslow: 8 kills, 6 digs.
Allyson Cathey: 7 kills, 2 aces.
Kyla Weber: 16 assists.
Mary Claire Meyer: 2 aces.
Shea Collett: 9 digs, 2 aces.
Bree Martin: 5 digs, 2 aces.
VS. EVANSVILLE CENTRAL
Cathey: 8 kills, 7 digs.
Collett: 5 kills.
Tess Owsley: 4 kills.
Weber: 17 assists.
Winslow: 3 aces.
Martin: 11 digs, 2 aces.
Meyer: 5 digs.
Cathey: 8 digs, 7 kills.
Winslow: 6 kills, 6 digs.
Collett: 5 kills.
Weber: 19 assists.
Martin: 2 aces.
Meyer: 5 digs.