Senior staff writer
Center Grove’s 4A No. 6 volleyball team was on the ropes in the first set of the Johnson County championship match.
Rival 4A No. 12 Franklin was up 24-20; all the Grizzly Cubs needed was one point to snare the first set in the best-of-five match Oct. 1.
The determined Trojans made sure Franklin didn’t scored again in the set and went on a 6-0 run for a stunning 26-24 triumph. After taking the first set, Center Grove rolled 25-15 and 25-10 to raise the county trophy.
“We kept pushing forward and never became complacent,” CG coach Dana Matis said. “We started off a little bit slow, but we were right in it. And then the second and third sets it was really good to see us finish stronger than we started.”
The Trojans faced set point but managed to score four straight points and took over on kills by junior Macy Carrabine and the game winner by 6-3 senior Madison Smeathers.
“Perseverance gave us the confidence heading into the second and third (sets),” Matis said. “Serving aggressively and then our defense stepped up; we kept the ball off the floor.”
Smeathers led the Trojans with 18 kills; senior setter Taylor Hammill had 34 assists.
The county tourney launches the Trojans’ late-season drive with four more matches before sectional action begins Oct. 20. Franklin and Franklin Central are among the top teams in their sectional.
The Trojans have a lofty 23-5 record but Matis said, “We can improve upon every aspect of the game, but this game is about serving and passing; we can always improve upon that.”
The Trojans reached the final match by dominating 1A No. 16 Edinburgh 25-8, 25-10, 25-18. Franklin dominated Greenwood with 25 kills to reach the final 25-12, 25-10, 25-18.
Smeathers leads the team with 399 kills and 27 blocks on the season; Carrabine has 293 digs and 42 aces; Hammill has 709 assists.