Goshen, PCHS suffer losses in Cross County Volleyball Classic

Published 10:31 pm Monday, September 23, 2013

The Ariton Purple Cats knocked off G.W. Long , Goshen, and Pike County to win the Cross County Volleyball Classic held at the Troy Sportsplex this Saturday.

The tournament followed a round-robin format before advancing into single-elimination knockout rounds.

In the opening game of the tournament, Ariton easily handled Pike County in straight sets 25-4 and 25-4.

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Goshen’s opening game against G.W. Long would prove to be more competitive. Goshen trailed throughout the initial set until tying the set at 20. However, G.W. Long would go on to win the next five points to win the set 25-20.

The second set of the game followed the same pattern with Goshen trailing until tying the set at 24. Goshen took three of the next four points to come from behind to win 27-25. In the second set, Goshen fought off four G.W. Long match points.

Goshen finally flexed its muscle in the final set of the match, winning handily 15-9.

Goshen coach Amy Warrick was pleased with the resolve showed by her team in the game’s second set.

“We’re fighting like our coach Dee Hughes. Our goal is to fight as hard as she does,” Warrick said.

The game marked the first time that Goshen dropped a set on the season. “We were shaky in the beginning, but I was happy with how we came back,” Warrick said. “This shows that our regular season means nothing.”

The second set of games of the day matched cross-county rivals as Ariton faced G. W. Long and Pike County took on Goshen.

Goshen cruised to a straight-set victory against PCHS 25-12 and 25-7.

Ariton had to sweat out a close win over G.W. long in straight sets 25-18 and 25-20.

In the final matches of round-robin play, Pike County went up against G.W. Long and Ariton and Goshen battled for the tournament’s top seed.

Pike County battled but ultimately fell to the Rebels 25-9 and 25-12.

Ariton dispatched Goshen with ease, winning comfortably in two sets 25-10 and 25-18. The loss was Goshen’s first of the year.

With round-robin play completed, the tournament moved on to its elimination stages with top seed Ariton playing Pike County and Goshen matched against G.W. Long.

Once again, Ariton knocked off Pike County to the scores of 25-6 and 25-15. Though her team was unable to record a victory on the day, Bulldog coach Karie Striplin said she saw an improved team from the beginning of the tournament.

“We’re getting better at transitioning from blocking to passing,” Striplin said, “But we couldn’t get into a good rhythm today.” Despite the results, Striplin was pleased with her team’s performance in the tournament. “The tournament is really about practicing and getting prepared for the area matches.”

Striplin also said that her team had vastly improved since the beginning of the season. “I think we’re improving at a steady pace. We haven’t climaxed or reached our potential yet,” Striplin said. “We’re just working a becoming a team and communicating.”

The rematch between Goshen and G.W. Long was as intense as the initial offering. In the first set, the Eagles and Rebels traded points back and forth until the set was tied at 24. Goshen served four set points before finally converting on the fifth to win the set 33-31.

However, the Eagles suffered a bit of a letdown after the emotional first set victory and dropped the next two sets 21-25 and 10-15 to the Rebels.

Coach Amy Warrick was disappointed with her team’s effort in the semifinal match. “We were not focusing and not getting good passes,” Warrick said. “We didn’t communicate.”

But, Warrick is still confident that the sky is the limit for her team. “This team can go as far as we want,” Warrick said.

“We thought that we were better than we are. It has been a good tournament because it shows we are not where we want to be.”

In the championship of the tournament, Ariton downed G.W. Long 25-18 and 25-13 to win the tournament.