Goshen downs Ariton in four sets on senior night

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Goshen Lady Eagles volleyball team extracted a little revenge for an early-season loss Tuesday night.

Goshen picked up a four-set win on senior night over the Ariton Lady Purple Cats in front of a crowd dressed nearly head-to-toe in pink.

The Lady Eagles took the first two sets of the match 25-22 and 25-19, before falling in the third 25-18. Ariton and Goshen traded the lead numerous times in the fourth set, before a late surge by the Eagles gave them a 25-18 win in the set, and 3-1 win in the match.

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Goshen head coach Amy Warrick beamed from ear-to-ear after the match talking about her team’s performance.

“This feels great,” Warrick said. “Ariton is a phenomenal team, and will make a run in the playoffs. Beating them was one of our goals for this year, but the big one is still out there. I can’t say much about this team. I am so proud of them because they compete, and get better, every single day. As a coach, you can’t ask for more than that.”

For most of the year the Eagles have used Katie Thomas’ powerful kills and big vertical leap to control the game at the net, but a new face stepped up against the Purple Cats.

Sophomore Casey Allen, Thomas’ best friend, manned the net like a seasoned veteran, knocking in kills and stuffing blocks back across on Purple Cat attacks.

Allen’s big night drew praise from her head coach.

“Casey was huge for us tonight,” Warrick said. “To see how she has improved throughout the season has been fun to watch. She began the year hitting the ball a little long, so we went to work with her and got her to start hitting down on the ball. She has a really nice angle on her attacks right now, and it will only get better.”

Warrick also praised the effort and work of the main defenders on the edges, Fran Warrick, Carmen Kelly and the team’s lone senior, Laken Griggs.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be able to play the way we do,” Warrick said. “They take the dink shots away from the other team, which forces them to try to hit long. We feel that if we can make a team hit long, the odds are in our favor. It was total team effort tonight.”

Goshen will travel to Ariton on Thursday for their final regular-season match, before hosting the area tournament on Monday.