Senior staff writer
Franklin Central’s volleyball team will try to rebound from only its second loss of the season as the Marion County tourney opens tonight at four different sites.
Coach Sandy Moore’s unranked Flashes (18-2) aim to play spoiler in the 16-team tourney with 4A No. 4 Lawrence North favored.
The Flashes dropped their second match Monday against New Palestine 3-2. They had won 14 straight matches before losing their first one at Franklin Sept. 22 in the Grizzly Cubs Invitational as Moore’s team collided against a state-ranked team for the first time this season.
FC defeated Decatur Central and then won the Artesian Invitational at Martinsville Saturday by defeating Fishers, North Montgomery and Bloomington North.
Moore said the Flashes had not been pushed until they defeated Roncalli 3-2 in a spirited match on the Rebels court just two days before the Franklin tourney.
FC’s is eager to see how it stands in the county tourney.
The team’s leades are 6-2 Haley Sobieralski, 509 assists and 184 digs; Corrie Rusk, 44 blocks and 144 kills; Maddie Munger, 223 kills; Elleanne Moore, 181 digs; and Marissa McGraw, 134 digs.
The senior-laden Flashes were dominated up front by Franklin, but FC continues to improve and is showing more depth up front.
The Flashes meet Lawrence Central in tonight’s second match at Brebeuf, where Southport opens against the host Braves at 5:30 p.m. Southside teams in first-round matches are: 1A No. 11 Lutheran at home against Ben Davis; Beech Grove at Roncalli; and Perry Meridian vs. Park Tudor at Speedway, all at 5:30 p.m. Quarterfinals are Thursday at Roncalli and Speedway with semifinals at 10 a.m. and championship Saturday at noon at Lawrence North.
Roncalli (8-12) and Lutheran have a mixture of a few veterans and several newcomers. The Rebels have played 10 matches against ranked teams.
Perry Meridian features 6-3 sophomore Caitie Baird, who is considered one of the nation’s top players. Beech Grove continues to rebuild after a season-ending injury to libero Michele Jennings. Southport enters with only three wins.
Center Grove (4A No. 10) is favored in the Johnson County tourney with the semifinals and finals Thursday at Greenwood.
The ranked Trojans, under first-year coach Maggie Harbison, opened the season by playing five ranked teams in their first eight matches. Freshman setter MJ Hammill has 686 assists, No. 4 among state leaders.
The Trojans also rely upon lone senior/Denver recruit Macy Carrabine and juniors Devynn Merriman, 323 digs; Ellen LeMasters, 272 kills; and E. Jones, 87 blocks.
Host Greenwood plays Whiteland today in the opening round at 5:30 p.m.