There were plenty of teachable moments in Tuesday night’s Duneland Athletic
Conference match for the Chesterton girls volleyball team.
Whether it was on how to handle a hotter-than-fire team coming into the
Trojans’ gym before the game, dealing with adversity in the second set or
figuring out how to close the match late, Chesterton coach TR Harlan never
wasted an opportunity to drive home a point.
The Trojans listened on Tuesday night, knocking off Lake Central 25-20,
23-25, 25-16, 21-25, 15-10 to keep a firm hold on third place in the
conference with a huge DAC match coming up against Valparaiso on Thursday.
“Every time we talked tonight, we talked about the process,” Harlan said.
“We can’t jump ahead, we can’t skip steps. It’s just like math; you have to
do the work. I think they finally started to understand that tonight; they
finally started to understand the process.”
Harlan’s lesson came at an opportune time as the Indians came to Chesterton
after knocking off conference foes LaPorte and Valparaiso last week as well
as Lowell on Monday night. The Trojans traveled to Saint John earlier this
season and won the first game against Lake Central before the Indians
captured the next three to secure the victory.
Tuesday’s match looked more of the same as the Trojans won a close battle in
the first game before falling behind 8-0 in the second set. Harlan never
wavered and let his team play out of the hole. Even though Chesterton
ultimately dropped the second game, the Trojans picked up some confidence
heading into the third set of the night.
“I didn’t call a timeout and the reason was because I wanted to see if they
could play through it,” Harlan said. “I trusted that they could do it and
they battled all the way back (to tie the game). The problem was that we
didn’t leave ourselves any type of safety net.”
The Trojans looked on fire in the third game as they raced out to a big lead
and finished strong for a 25-16 win. Chesterton had chances in the fourth
game to put the match away, but the Indians were too strong and pulled out a
25-21 victory to set up the deciding fifth match and another teachable
moment from Harlan.
“He told us that we couldn’t be afraid to lose,” Chesterton senior Lydia
Gill said. “He told us to take chances, to take the big swings and not be
afraid to mess up. That’s the focus that we had going into the last game.”
Gill answered the call as the senior made a pair of big plays late in the
fifth game. With Chesterton leading 11-9, Gill came up with a block against
Lake Central senior Nikki Adams. On the following volley, Gill put down a
thunderous kill to give the Trojans a 13-9 lead. Shelby Ruffner finished off
the Indians two plays later with a kill down the right side of the court.
“I thought that we played hard all night,” Harlan said. “I was happy with
every game, even when we were down 8-0 in the second game. We fought back.
Are there things we can do better? Yes, but we refused to lose tonight and
we tried to win.”
The Trojans step out-of-conference for a road match against Calumet this
evening and then will travel to Valparaiso on Thursday night for a pivotal
conference contest with the Vikings.
“I’ll worry about Thursday on Thursday,” Harlan said. “I’m worried about
(sectionals) 30 days from now. After playing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,
I’ll be happy if we can make it to the bus on Thursday.”
Chesterton -- Jennifer Williams 5 kills; Katie Urycki 12 kills, 16 digs, 2
block kills; Korelle Melcarek 17 digs; Michaela Raffin 7 digs; Emily Nix 8
kills, 4 digs, 5 block kills; Kate Nowak 3 kills, 52 assists, 8 digs; Shelby
Ruffner 13 kills, 4 block kills; Lydia Gill 16 kills, 18 digs, 3 block
Record: Chesterton 11-5 (5-3 DAC).
23-25-15, Chesterton 25-11-10
The Chesterton junior varsity lost a hard-fought 23-25, 25-11, 15-10
decision to Lake Central on Tuesday night.
Emily Marcus led the team in kills with five, while Kristin Lorenz and
Jessica Urycki each added three kills.
Jessica Thornton dished out a team-best six assists and Shelby Carter had
Defensively, Ashley Hecimovich had nine digs with Thornton adding eight
digs. Allie Sink had five digs and Marcus tallied four.
21-25-15, Chestreton 25-22-12
The Chesterton freshman dropped a tough 21-25, 25-22, 15-12 match against
Lake Central on Tuesday.
Samantha Stueber had a team-high 13 kills to lead the offense. Jacklyn
Moleski and Aubrey Nagdeman each had four kills and April Melcarek
contributed the kills.
Melcarek also dished out a team-best 20 assists.
Defensively, Jordyn Moleski had 12 digs, while Jacklyn Moleski had eight
digs. Ellen Kerr contributed seven digs.