Franklin wastes little time in beating Warriors

After going 3-1 against some of the state’s better teams at Saturday’s Clarksville Providence Invitational, Franklin’s volleyball team managed to maintain that focus in Tuesday’s match against neighborhood rival Whiteland.

The visiting Grizzly Cubs took command early, building an 8-1 first-game lead and cruising to a 25-14, 25-8, 25-11 Mid-State Conference victory.

Saturday’s wins came against perennial Class 2A power Brownstown Central, along with Roncalli (4A) and Bloomington South (4A), with the lone loss coming to 4A No. 1 Cathedral.

Tuesday’s win improved Franklin to 11-3 overall and left its coach, Roxanne Chapman, happy with the focus and team balance.

“The girls are confident right now,” Chapman said. “Our passing looked good overall, and I was pleased with all of our hitters. We’re trying to spread the ball around.”

Mission accomplished. Isabell Mahin, Alyvia Sundheimer and Rachel Kinney each finished with seven kills to lead the Cubs’ hitting attack. Mahin and Brooklyn Peddycord contributed four aces apiece, and even when Franklin didn’t register aces, its solid serving disrupted Whiteland’s offense frequently during the match.

“We’ve been working on our jump serving and floating,” said Sundheimer, whose net presence gave the Warriors fits all evening. “We do a lot of serving drills at practice. We didn’t want to waste a game (Tuesday), and we communicated a lot.”

Mahin and Rachel Kinney each registered six digs to anchor Franklin’s defensive effort.

Whiteland coach Kristin Estridge praised the efforts of defensive specialist Elaina Robards and right-side hitter Abigail Quarles and was happy with the Warriors’ continued improvement.

“We only had two serving errors,” she said. “(Junior outside hitter) Jordan Wise laid out for three or four balls. Franklin’s tough and fast. We’re still working on getting quicker reaction times, but our defense has improved drastically.”

Whiteland plays again today at county rival Indian Creek. Franklin is off until next Tuesday, when it hosts Mid-State foe Plainfield.

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Adam Wire is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.