By Steve Freeze
For Greene County News
HAMLTON — The Hamilton Badin High School volleyball team swept visiting Carroll Thursday, 25-23, 25-13, 25-10, in a match that was closer than the final score would indicate and was dubbed a learning experience by both coaches at this late stage in their seasons.
Carroll (6-12, 2-6 Greater Catholic League North), losers of three in a row and now five in six started strong in the first game but could never quite shake the Rams who hung around long enough to steal it in the end. Badin (10-6, 4-4 GCL South) steadily took control from there.
“When we are not doing as well as we should with passing, we start to struggle,” said Patriots coach Don Wood. “And we need to keep momentum in order to get our passing working.”
Samantha Keller started the game serving for six straight points for Carroll, including two aces, and a few big hits from Sanja Kosir. Badin got the side out when Kosir was called for a carry, to halt the early roll.
From there the Rams continued to stalk until, 19-17, the return of a Camryn Joseph serve went into the net prompting Badin coach Amy Horsley to call timeout.
Momentum noticeably began to swing from then on.
“I told them ‘you know what your problem is,’ ” Horsley said she told her team during the timeout. “(We) have got to step up. Pass to the setter and get into our system. I just reminded them of a few of the basics.”
Game two remained tight through the early portion, with neither team stretching the lead to more than three points.
Taking a 14-11 lead following a Keller serve into the net, Ally Unger went on a five-point scoring streak while serving, though that was as much to Carroll errors as anything Badin did on the attack.
Wood called timeout with his team trailing 17-11, but it wasn’t enough to sway the already lost momentum.
“We just haven’t learned how to play a whole game,” Wood said. “We are an improved team. I’m pretty happy with what we have done (this year). We’re much better than we were earlier. (Badin) was able to get into their system and we weren’t.”
The Patriots tied the third game at 4-4 when Abby Schrand won a contested block. But Badin earned side out on the next point and Emma Horsley served for eight straight.
The Rams never looked back.
With four matches left in the regular season, Carroll hosts Chaminade Julienne in a GCL North battle on Tuesday.
Badin hosts Cincinnati Northwest on Monday in the first of five straight home matches to finish the regular season.
Steve Freeze is a free-lance writer for Greene County News.