The goal for any team is to be peaking at season’s end, when championships are on the line and everything means just a little bit more.
By all indications, the Center Grove volleyball team is hitting its stride right on time.
Though the Class 4A No. 6 Trojans are still coping with the recent loss of middle blocker Emma Jones to a knee injury, the squad looked anything but fractured in a convincing 25-14, 25-21, 25-12 home sweep of Roncalli on Tuesday evening.
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The victory was the ninth in a row overall for Center Grove (22-9) and the seventh consecutive 3-0 triumph.
“I think all of the girls are really just starting to understand each other and click,” coach Maggie Harbison said.
Center Grove never trailed in the opening set, gradually pulling away with a series of small spurts. Back-to-back kills from senior Macy Carrabine pushed the lead to 13-6 early, and freshman Anna Line added two straight kills later as part of a four-point run that made it 19-9.
Roncalli (9-15) scored the first three points of the second game, but the Trojans responded with eight consecutive points on the serve of Carrabine to take control. Center Grove pushed the margin to 22-11 before the Rebels made it more interesting with a late push.
Harbison sprinkled her reserves in throughout the evening, hoping to help them gain some valuable experience by putting them “in uncomfortable situations.”
There weren’t any of those in the third set, which opened with an ace from setter Madison Hammill and snowballed from there. Center Grove served up six aces in the final stanza, including three by Carrabine during a run that made it 8-1. Back-to-back aces from Gabby Pugliese later in the set stretched it to 18-5.
“We’ve been working on aggressive serving,” Carrabine said, “ so when it comes time for a game we know what to do.”
The Trojans finish up the regular season Thursday against Brownstown Central, then face Franklin Central in the opening round of next week’s Greenwood Sectional.