Senior Madeline Doll of Triton has solid contact with the ball during Saturday afternoon's regional match against Kouts.
Senior Madeline Doll of Triton has solid contact with the ball during Saturday afternoon's regional match against Kouts.
CULVER - Triton’s path to compete in the Class 1A Regional 13 volleyball final abruptly ended well before the clock struck 2 p.m. Saturday at Culver Community High School.

The Trojans fell to the Indiana High School Volleyball Coaches Association poll’s ninth-ranked Kouts Fillies in three games 25-7, 25-21, 25-17.

This was the second consecutive year Kouts put an end to Triton’s regional run.

Kouts and Triton were tied in the opening game at two until the Trojans made a handful of unforced errors, missed saves and digs on blocks, and witnessed the victors’ shifting to high gear with high-speed attacks that baffled the back row, and put a quick end to the first game 25-7.

“If we came out battling in the first game the way we did in game two, it would have been a different ballgame,” Eveland continued. “Maybe not a win, but more like the 21-25 game.”

The Trojans played tightly with the Filles, leading in the early stages of game two. Addyson Viers, a 6’0” sophomore middle hitter, demonstrated the power and finesse she has developed throughout the season with solid blocking and attacking (ten kills) in the front row complemented by agility when she had to dig from the back row (nine digs), Viers also had two service aces.

“Addyson wants to play at the next level. She really wants to work on her back row stuff. She obviously dominates up front. She has a good set. She’ll improve each year because she puts in the time.”

Triton’s height advantage was visible to those in attendance, but Kouts’s smaller hitters distanced themselves from the Trojans with superior execution of attacks, successfully hitting the open back corners on their way to clinching the match 25-21. Triton, at one point in the fray, only trailed 19-18.

When the Trojans effectively blocked the Fillies’ attacks, the victors’ front row were agile in their successful digs falling in mid court as well as digs they made close to the net.

The third game was rinse-in-repeat for Kouts. Triton was deadlocked with their for at 16-all again when the Fillies continued to “hit ‘em where they ain’t” on their way to a 9-1 run to clinch a berth in the evening’s regional final clash with Southwood.

Taren Yates and Madi Doll had five kills each for the Trojans. The two seniors added 7 digs, and 18 assists respectively. Libero Kinsey Atkins (8 digs), and Joli Groves (7 digs) rounded out the afternoon’s stats

“We had a great year,” Eveland said. “We just didn’t finish the way we wanted.”

The Trojans’ frustration was most visible on the court in the final game, but after the final point Eveland was able to reflect favorably on his squad.

“Great senior group this year,” he said. “We really had no idea how this would turn out. We lost eight seniors last year. We didn’t know who would move in to (setter) Madi (Doll), who was an outside hitter the last three years, said, ‘I’ll go head and set,’ and she did an awesome job.”

Yates, and outside hitter whose strength is greater in the back row, stepped up in a long-awaited opportunity to lead her teammates.

“(She) has been a phenomenal leader this year,” Eveland remarked. “There were a lot of seniors in front of her last year. She struggled with that because she wanted to lead last year. This year (she had) a great positive attitude.”

“We missed Joli Groves (another of four trojan seniors) a lot last year during tournament time,” Eveland continued. “She got a lot done for us in the tournament this year. Lauren Snyder will be missed. She could do a little bit of everything off the bench.”

Triton finished their campaign 23-12.