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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

Season ends in semifinals for Lady 'Cats

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

(Photo)
Hannah Noe makes a diving effort at digs during Class 3, District 1 semifinal action against Perryville Tuesday night at the Bearcat Event Center.
The volleyball season came to an end for Dexter as the Lady Bearcats fell to the Perryville Lady Pirates, 25-20, 25-18 in the semifinals of the Class 3, District 1 tournament Tuesday at the Bearcat Event Center in Dexter.

Perryville would later that same night win the district title with an upset win over state-ranked and No. 1 seed Notre Dame Regional High School, 28-26, 26-24.

Perryville's relentless defense and precision hitting never allowed Dexter to get on track against the defending district champs. But even with all of Perryville's powerful hitting, it was the finesse game that proved to be the difference.

"We felt like the things that really hurt us tonight were, our passing was not there and the tips," Dexter coach Carman Morgan said after the game. "Which we knew were going to be coming. All season that has been a problem for us, to cover that tipped ball that is going to land in the middle of the court.

"Perryville is a tough team," Morgan continued. "They have beaten us three times this year. And they tip us every time. But when your passing is not where it needs to be, then your sets tend to not be where they need to be and then your hits.... I mean, when you play a team like Perryville, you've got to be aggressive with them and you have to hit at them and you've got to get your best going. And we struggled a little bit with that tonight."

Early 6-3 deficits in both games proved to be the difference in winning and losing for the Lady Bearcats, who finished the season with a 22-9 record. Once behind, Dexter was never able to wrestle the lead away from Perryville while the Lady 'Cats were able to cut the lead down to two points several times in both games.

(Photo)
Perryville senior Kaitlyn Ellsworth goes high to get her hands on a ball as the Lady Pirates defeated Dexter then later Notre Dame Regional High School in the championship game. [Order this photo]
"We came from behind," Morgan noted. "We battled. We got down but we kept making it a game, but it never felt like we ever really got into a good rhythm because we were running people everywhere out there on the court. And Perryville hit a few balls that there were no getting to. And they also got to a few of our tips that we thought were on the floor and they absolutely stuck their hand under and got them up.

"I think we were a little tight when we came out for that first game," she added. "We were just a little bit nervous I think to begin with. But you know what? These kids, and we got Jessie (Jessica Lindsey, a starter who missed most of the season with a injury) back, she's not full speed, but we got her back and she went out there and did well for us. We were pleased with that. That was big for us. But these kids have had to step up, everyone of them, and play and they have done that all season. So I'm proud of them. I'm proud of our season."

Dexter, much like Notre Dame in the district finals, was unable to contain the hitting of Perryville senior Natalie Gremaud. Germaud worked mostly from the middle hitting position and continually found the open spots in Dexter's defense with sharply angled kills and delicate tips over and around the defenders.

(Photo)
Julia Hahn both makes a diving effort. [Order this photo]
"She (Gremaud) hit a couple of ball that we were there," Morgan said of Perryville's dominating player. "The block is set and she's just a phenomenal player. She's above everybody's hands and she is smacking it down. So there's not much you could do. They are going to get those points. And we battled. We didn't not battle. But that standing and letting balls drop? I'm not sure how we're going to fix that, but we are going to fix it."

"But these girls are all coming back hopefully," Morgan said of her squad. "And they've been a good group of girls to coach. They've worked hard and played hard."

Dexter's roster this season included four juniors, two sophomores, eight freshmen and no seniors, something that has Morgan and Dexter fans already looking forward to next season.

"Everybody comes back next year," Morgan noted. "I just told them in there (locker room) that they haven't had a year yet where you don't have a next year to play but that's coming. So you take a effort like tonight, a loss like that, and you just have to learn from it a little bit. You have to come back a little stronger and probably a little more mentally tough. But take nothing away from Perryville.

"They are a good team. I was just hoping we would have a little better showing."


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