Volleyball semistate: Lake Central falls to No. 2 Carmel
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org October 27, 2012 8:26PM
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:59AM
HUNTINGTON — When Lake Central coach Tina Tinberg watched film of Carmel, she thought the Indians “could hang in there” in the Class 4A Huntington North girls volleyball semistate semifinals.
Upon seeing the Greyhounds live on Saturday, she concluded they must have had a bad day on the film.
Carmel ended Lake Central’s exceptional postseason run, 25-10, 25-12, 25-15.
“They’re at a whole other level,” Tinberg said. “The tempo of the game — it’s the same we saw from (two-time defending state champion) Penn and Fort Wayne (Carroll, which lost to Penn in five games in Saturday’s first semifinal).
“I’ll leave here feeling inspired by the talent. And there’s work to be done.”
Senior setter Nikki Garza agreed the Indians (28-10) hadn’t faced an opponent quite the caliber of Carmel (26-1), ranked No. 2 in the state.
“I think they’re an exceptionally strong team,” she said. “It’s something we haven’t gone up against quite often. It’s definitely a challenge.”
In the first game, Carmel scored four points on Carly Durr’s serve, including an ace, to take an 18-8 lead. The Greyhounds closed out the game by scoring the final five points, four on Carly Harbison’s serve, with impressive sophomore Carly Skjodt recording three straight kills to make it 25-10.
Carmel took an 8-2 lead in the second game, as Durr served four consecutive points, on its way to the 25-12 win, capped by a kill from Skjodt, who entered Saturday averaging 5.0 kills per game this season.
“We thought we could take them out of system with aggressive serving. ... The first two games, they were pretty in system. They passed the ball well,” Tinberg said. “We were tight and fearful at times.”
The Indians loosened up a bit in the third game.
Lake Central scored the first point, before the Greyhounds reeled off the next six, with five on Shelby Foyer’s serve. Carmel then scored seven straight points, six on Durr’s serve, for a 13-2 cushion. The Indians responded with seven points in a row, with Brooke Renner serving for six, to draw to 20-14. Carmel scored the last four points to end the match at 25-15.
“Bottom line, we couldn’t find any rhythm or chemistry,” Tinberg said.
“We were not in rhythm at all,” Garza said. “Maybe we were a little intimidated. We didn’t come out on fire at all.”
She added of the third-game rally: “We started to realize this is our last chance, and we needed to work together.”
The Indians were coming off their first regional title since 1994.
“I’m really proud of all that they accomplished,” Tinberg said. “They should keep their chins up. It was a meaningful and special season for us.”
As the players emerged from the locker room after the match, their large contingent of fans greeted them with a loud ovation.
“This season has been phenomenal,” Garza said. “We became more of a family than any team I’ve ever been on.”