By Dennis Glade
Washington Times Herald
MONTGOMERY — The Barr-Reeve volleyball team wanted to finish the regular season on a high note, what they got was one of their best performances of the entire season.
The Class A No. 1 Lady Vikings (31-2) defeated the visiting Washington Lady Hatchets in three straight games Thursday evening (25-3, 25-12, 25-10) on senior night at Barr-Reeve.
Barr-Reeve got off to a quick start and Washington was back on their heels all night. The Lady Vikings jumped out to a 13-3 lead in the first game to set the tempo. The fast start combined with a raucous crowd for senior night gave the home team a home court advantage.
“I thought we came out more focused and intense than what I’ve seen in a while,” said Barr-Reeve head coach Amber Decoursey. “I think senior night had a lot to do with that, wanting to play well for our two seniors, Cori Cummings and Tanisha Graber. We talked to the girls about the importance of a jump start towards the sectional.”
After winning the first game in decisive fashion, the Lady Hatchets came out with a lot of intensity. Midway through the second game, Barr-Reeve held a slim 9-8 lead before a 16-4 run to win the second game.
“Washington definitely has some hitters, they definitely have some size,” Decoursey said. “They just made some plays on us. We have to stay composed on the floor and keep pushing for the next point. “
While the great effort was a welcome sight against what looked to be an over matched opponent, DeCoursey said that’s the pace they need to start every match they play.
“It started with defense,” Decoursey said. “We took care of the ball defensively and defense leads to offense.”
Washington head coach Alicia Hand told her team coming into Thursday night’s regular season finale that they need to keep their focus against the high powered Vikings.
“We told the girls all it takes is mental toughness,” Hand said. “You have to come in every game ready to play no matter who it is, no matter where it’s at. You have to come in mentally ready, mentally prepared.”
Dealing with the crowd, which got amped up during warmups, and never quieted down is another aspect of keeping their mental toughness according to Hand. Following Thursday’s loss, Washington has almost a week off as they get ready for its sectional matchup Saturday against Heritage Hills at Jasper.
“We have the bye so we have five days of practice next week,” Hand said. “We have to push hard on everything.”
As the Lady Vikings prepare for Thursday’s sectional opener against North Daviess at Loogootee, Decoursey emphasized the fact that the sectional is the start of a new season.
“We need to realize that everyone is 0-0,” Decoursey said. “The success that we have had this season means nothing. We just have to keep pushing and keep building on what we’re working for.”