|LADY BUCCS SWEEP PANTHERS IN THREE...
Midway through the season the Covington Lady Buccs are finding the consistency needed to make a run in the second half of the season.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2008 - COVINGTON
The Covington Lady Buccs went into Tuesday's Cross County Conference match-up with 8-2 Tri-County North looking to see how much they have improved on the little things they worked on in practice - things they found were lacking during Saturday's contests with two state ranked teams in New Bremen and Anna.
"We found out some things on Saturday (against New Bremen and Anna)," said Covington coach Jim Smith. "First, we found out that we can compete with them. Second, we found out the difference between them and us is consistency."
Smith got a little of what he was looking for as his Lady Buccs swept Tri-County North in three straight games 25-20, 25-23 and 25-19.
"This was definitely a step in the right direction," Smith continued. "We were more consistent tonight than we have been, although there's still room for improvement."
One area Smith was looking for improvement in was consistency at the net. He received it as his team recorded 17 blocks on the night.
"We worked a lot on blocking in practice and it paid off," Smith said. "We did a good job reading the hitters and getting in position - not only to make the block, but to be there to dig the ball off of a block attempt."
Covington received a huge night at the net from Shelby Hoblit and Alyssa Angle as the duo combined for 13 blocks.
Angle also had seven kills and 10 assists.
"Alyssa has really stepped in as a leader," praised Smith.
Another area lacking consistency in the past was serve receive. This became a strength for Covington on Tuesday.
"That's something we've improved on dramatically," said Smith. "Our defense has really come on and it was very good tonight."
Krissi Tobias and Rachel Rindler each recorded 11 digs on the evening to lead the team.
Another area of improvement for Covington was serving, which ultimately was the difference in the game.
"Serving was probably the difference in the game tonight," Smith said. "We served the ball very well and they hit several out of bounds. When you serve and serve receive well, your chances of winning is pretty good."
One area Smith is still looking for consistency is hitting. The Lady Buccs missed on several opportunities to put the ball away.
"We're still not as consistent as we need to be hitting the ball," said Smith. "We're improving, but we're not consistent enough."
The improvement has come from the outside as Emily Henry has picked up her game.
"Earlier in the season we were struggling from the outside," Smith explained of Henry who had five kills. "Emily has stepped up her hitting and has become much more consistent. A lot of that is because she's become more comfortable and confident."
The victory improves Covington's record to 6-4 overall and 5-1 in the Cross County Conference.
The Lady Buccs face National Trail before facing one of three more state ranked teams left on the schedule on Saturday.
"We're not looking ahead, but I am curious see how we'll do against Minster, Versailles and Jackson Center," Smith said. "I'm really interested to see how well we can play if we continue to get more and more consistent."