Last week was a great week for the North Crawford volleyball team. Things got off to a real good start with their decisive 3-1 victory in a match with Seneca. Then on Saturday, the Trojans won the eight-team North Crawford Invite.
The win over the Indians meant the Trojans were assured of a share in the Ridge and Valley Volleyball Championship for 2013. It was also exhilarating for the Trojans to defeat their archrivals, who at the time were also undefeated in conference play.
North Crawford beat Seneca 25-10, 15-25, 25-13 and 25-20. Both Seneca’s veteran coach Dawn Ray and North Crawford’s first-year coach Anna Davidson acknowledged the importance of the Trojan’s overwhelming win in the first game. In both coaches opinion, the first game set the tone for what was to come later in the match.
The Indians did rally to take the second game 25-15 even the match at one game each, but the team still seemed rattled.
“We stopped talking,” Ray noted later. “When we talk, we play better. We have the ability to play very well. When one person shuts down, it means three other people can’t play. We were making mistakes that we haven’t made since the beginning of the season. We were afraid to make a mistake. We were playing tight.”
Although the Trojans quickly recovered to win games three and four, Davidson saw what Ray could do by adjusting her team in game two.
“What happened in the second game is our passes were not going to the setter,” Davidson explained. Seneca started hitting the ball deeper into the back row causing problems for North Crawford.
The Trojans made some adjustments of their own and resumed taking control in games three and four.
“They put the fear in us and we buckled,” Ray said. The Seneca coach was quick to acknowledge the Trojans were a very strong team this season. However, Ray believes if the Indians have a second meeting with the Trojans, it might turn out differently.
Davidson was more than satisfied with her team’s performance in the big game.
“There was more consistency as a team and we played more as a unit Tuesday night,” Davidson said. “We were able to put it all together. The younger girls were a lot more relaxed.”
For the match, North Crawford’s premier senior hitter Mackenzie Swiggum led the team with 20 kills.
Her younger sister, junior Natasha Swiggum, recorded 12 kills and senior Aubrey Stevenson had 11 kills. Sophomores Haley Nelson and Emily Peterson each recorded one kill.
Mackenzie Swiggum also had a great match from behind the line, serving 16-16 with four aces, while Tasha went 16-18 with six aces.
Senior libero Samantha Troxel was 15-16 with two aces, Peterson was 17-19 with three aces and Aubrey Stevenson was 11-12 with one ace.
The Swiggums also led the team in digs with Mackenzie recording 22, while Tasha had 18, as did Troxel. Aubrey Stevenson had 15 digs, while her sister Bailey had 14 digs and Peterson had seven digs.
As is often the case, Tasha led the team in blocks with six, while Aubrey had five. Bailey Stevenson, Haley Nelson and Emily Peterson each had two blocks.
At the 19th Annual North Crawford Volleyball Invitational held Saturday, Oct. 12, the Trojans got off to a rocky start losing their first match in pool play to Dodgeville (26-27, 25-20, 15-12).
Things went a lot smoother in the second and third matches as North Crawford defeated Royall (25-14, 25-23) in the second match and Belmont (27-25, 25-14) in the third match.
North Crawford finished pool play with a 2-1 match record behind Dodgeville (3-0 in Pool One). Both teams qualified for the crossover games with Pool Two.
The winner of Pool Two was Wonewoc Center (3-0) and Prairie du Chien took second place to qualify for the crossover games.
In the first matches, Prairie du Chien beat Dodgeville and North Crawford defeated Wonewoc Center.
In the championship game, the Trojans beat the Blackhawks 25-23, 10-25 and 17-15.
Dodgeville beat Wonewoc Center in the consolation match for third place.