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Another slow start, another victory for the Collins volleyball team.
The Titans continued their recent trend of losing the first set, but winning the match Tuesday night, beating crosstown-rival Shelby County, 3-1 (21-25, 25-9, 25-20, 25-20), in a 30th District match at Mike Casey Gymnasium.
It was Collins’ fourth victory in its past five matches. In each of those triumphs the Titans rallied after dropping the first set. Ironically in its one loss in that span (3-1, to Trimble County), Collins won the first set before losing the next three.
“I don’t know why we’re starting off so slow, but we finally get that spark of energy we need then we play our game,” junior setter Keri Perdue said.
The Titans eventually found their spark on the way to their first regular-season sweep of the Rockets since their inaugural season in 2010.
Collins had defeated Shelby County, 3-1 (25-23, 25-15, 20-25, 25-15) on Aug. 29 behind 13 aces and outside hitter MiChaela Stoudemire’s 13 kills.
This time around Collins (9-5, 4-0) collectively recorded 17 aces, and Stoudemire had a match-high 10 kills.
In the first set the Rockets (5-3, 1-3) led, 16-11, before the Titans rallied for eight of the next 10 points. A kill by Shelby County senior outside hitter Dasia Jones, however, tied the score at 19 and started a set-ending, 7-2 Rockets’ run. In the first set Collins had as many hitting errors as kills (seven).
“Sometimes we try to be the ‘super’ Titans when we hit the ball,” first-year Collins Coach Cary Clark said. “We need to just be the Titans, and that’s it.”
Shelby County then scored the first three points of the second set, on the strength of Rachel Timperman’s serving, before the Titans went on a tear, outscoring the Rockets, 25-6. Six different players had a kill for Collins, which also recorded four aces (two apiece from junior Koti Weaver and freshman Blair Nethery).
“Our passing picked up, everything just clicked, and our hitters started doing what they can do,” said Perdue, who dished out 25 assists.
In the pivotal third set the two teams were tied at 18 before the Titans outscored Shelby, 7-3. Junior Sierra Shepherd led Collins’ offensive attack in that set with a quartet of kills.
In the fourth set the Rockets led, 16-14, before the Titans ran off seven points in a row behind the serving of Weaver and the attacking of Stoudemire, who tallied five kills in that final set.
“When she is going good, she just can’t stop,” Perdue said. “She’s my most trusted hitter, and I know she’s going to do something with the ball. I love setting her.”
Collins also recorded five aces in the fourth set.
Weaver topped the Titans in aces (eight) and digs (nine).
“The first set we had way too many unforced errors,” Clark said. “We played smart volleyball [after that]. The last three sets we started making less errors.”
Jones led the Rockets with six kills, while sophomore Abby Wills added five and a team-high eight digs. Timperman contributed four aces.
“I was glad to see the girls put fourth a better effort from our first match [against Collins], and play start to finish,” Shelby County Coach Felicia Pace said.
The Titans, who hosted Henry County on Thursday night, host Bullitt Central at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Rockets, who hosted two-time defending region champ North Oldham on Thursday night, will play a tri-match Saturday at West Jessamine. They play the host Colts at 11 a.m. before taking on Wayne County at noon.
Collins d. SCHS, 21-25, 25-9, 25-20, 25-20
CHS stats: MiChaela Stoudmire 10 kills; Sierra Shepherd 6 kills, 2 solo blocks; Keri Perdue 25 assists, 5 digs; Koti Weaver 8 aces, 9 digs.
SCHS stats: Dasia Jones 6 kills, 5 digs; Abby Wills 5 kills, 8 digs; Rachel Timperman 4 kills, 4 aces.
30TH District standings
Collins 4-0, 9-5
Anderson County 2-1, 12-10
Shelby County 1-3, 5-3
Spencer County 0-3, 2-8
Spencer County at Anderson County
Anderson County at Shelby County
Anderson County at Collins
Shelby County at Spencer County
Spencer County at Collins