Kenston High School
News-Herald Article ~ 9/23/2010
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Kenston locked in when it matters

Kenston tried its best to focus.

It's something the Bombers have been working on all season.

They did a great job of it in the first two games against host Perry, but fell apart in the third. Kenston came back strong in the fourth to secure a 25-11, 25-10, 18-25, 25-18 Chagrin Valley Conference victory on Wednesday.

With the win, the Bombers improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the CVC.

"It's hard for us to focus. That's been the biggest thorn in our side," Kenston coach Dan Coughlin said. "We have a hard time staying mentally focused. We are talented, and it's just hard for everyone to stay on the same page."

Coughlin went on to say when one player has a bad game, another steps up. Often, that player is senior Lauren Landsman.

From Home Page "Lauren is our go-to girl this season, so it's nice to have her," Coughlin said. "She took the last five swings, and that was the end of the game, so we'll ride Lauren's back any day of the week."

Perry coach Jeff George, whose team slipped to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the CVC, was pleased with the way his team responded after losing the opening games.

"Game 3, we came out and played like we should have been playing," he said. "We did an excellent job of controlling the tempo. We got them out of their system. We had their players moving around, and it just made the defense so much easier for our team."

Games 1 and 2 were anything but easy for the Pirates.

In the first game, the Bombers went on runs of 5-0, 4-0 and 8-0. Landsman served during the 8-0 run and hit four consecutive aces.

In Game 2, the Bombers remained fundamentally sound. They outscored the Pirates, 11-2, to open the game, led by the hitting of Ally Bates and Landsman.

The Bombers lost their focus in Game 3, and the Pirates took advantage.

"I guess we got too relaxed," Landsman said. "We have to always remember no matter what the score of the first or second game is, we have to always come back and we still have to play. We can't just go through the motions. That's kind of what we did.

"I'm just glad we could come back, step up and finish it in the fourth."

Perry went on its first run of the night in the third game. Backed by the serving of Iza Zitney and the hitting of Rachel Crittle, the Pirates went on a 6-0 spurt for a 17-6 lead. The Bombers attempted to battle back, but it wasn't enough.

"The girls did a very good job of not showing as much emotion and trying to play level," George said. "It's something we didn't do in Games 1 and 2 and something we did in Games 3 and 4."

In Game 4, Alexis Taylor served five consecutive points to clinch the win. She was backed by Landsman, who made five straight kills.

"We won't crack under pressure," Landsman said. "We shouldn't have let them in like that. We are still the team that deserves to win."

Landsman finished with 12 kills and 11 digs. Bates had six kills. Megan Wendel made 26 assists and nine digs. Crittle led the Pirates' hitting attack with nine kills. Danielle Carroll was 90 of 91 setting with 24 assists and 14 service points. Zitney had 18 passes and 11 digs.h."

Visit the News-Herald to see a video from the Perry game.