CUBS WIN: Madison’s Olivia Crozier (below left), Madison Porter (at ball) and Whitney Wynn (behind) make life difficult at the net for Southwestern’s Skyla Judkins during Tuesday’s match in Hanover. The Cubs’ Delany Liter (above, from left), Abigail Demaree, Porter, Wynn and Sage Sproles celebrate after a point. Madison rolled to the 3-0 win in Hanover. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
CUBS WIN: Madison’s Olivia Crozier (below left), Madison Porter (at ball) and Whitney Wynn (behind) make life difficult at the net for Southwestern’s Skyla Judkins during Tuesday’s match in Hanover. The Cubs’ Delany Liter (above, from left), Abigail Demaree, Porter, Wynn and Sage Sproles celebrate after a point. Madison rolled to the 3-0 win in Hanover. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Madison's size and skill were too much for Southwestern to overcome as the Lady Cubs rolled to a three-set sweep on "Dig Pink" night Tuesday in Hanover.

The Cubs, with front-liners standing 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-1, and with seniors at nearly every position, overwhelmed the Rebels in every facet of the game.

Madison won the opener 25-14 and claimed game two 25-12. The Cubs substituted liberally in the finale and closed out the match 25-21.

"They're a pretty good team and they just have us beat everywhere when it comes to the front row," Southwestern coach Chris Johnson said. "Looking at the stat sheet, things weren't as bad as they appeared to be. The passing was decent, we didn't have more than a handful of errors and we only had one serving error. Things were OK, we just couldn't score enough points to keep up with their hitters."

Madison's big guns of Emily Holland and Olivia Crozier dominated the middle but the Cubs also got strong contributions from hitters Katie Hartman and Macky Hecox. The result was that Southwestern (9-8) was left scrambling all match.

It was Hecox's serving that pushed Madison out to a big lead in the opener. The senior took the ball with the Cubs leading 9-5 and by the time she lost the serve, Madison had forged ahead 15-5. Hecox had two aces during the run and got two kills by Hartman.

From there, the Cubs (18-2) steadily pulled away, going ahead 19-9 and 24-12 before settling for the 25-14 win.

Madison trailed game two early at 4-3 but used the same formula to pull away. Again it was Hecox who got the credit on a big serving run, gaining the Cubs' last seven points for the win.

Madison coach Jeff Lawson used the third game to try out different combinations and the result was a much more competitive set. Southwestern led 13-10 before Crozier, Holland and Hartman began firing away kills at the net to give the Cubs the lead. Crozier's big kill at the end capped off the win.

Lawson, who used to coach at Southwestern before heading cross county to Madison after nearly a decade away from varsity coaching, was pleased with his team's overall play.

"We've had a rough couple of weeks passing in particular. Errors just bogged us down," Lawson said. "Our focus tonight was to just relax and play and have fun. For the seniors, it was their last time in what they consider a rivalry game. I thought they played real free and loose and up to their abilities."

Hartman and Holland each had 11 kills while Crozier finished with nine. Hecox was a perfect 20-for-20 from the serving line and 9-for-11 passing with three digs.

Abigail Demaree went 11-for-11 serving for Madison and was also 11-for-13 in serve reception with four digs. Whitney Wynn had 39 assists and four service aces.

"We've been trying to get (Crozier) more and more involved because when you have talent like that, you have to exploit it," Lawson said. "Olivia did good job tonight of putting herself in position to make plays ... we're going to need her down the stretch and I was excited to see her play like that tonight."

Kills were hard to come by for Southwestern but Brittney Ralston still finished with seven on 16-of-17 hitting. Mariah Franklin had 4 kills on 8-for-9 hitting and Sarah Anderson had one kill on 6-for-6 attacking.

Anderson was also 7-for-7 serving with an ace and had 19 assists. Kelsi Brierly was 12-for-13 passing with three digs and 6-for-6 serving with an ace.

"Tonight I did something that I haven't done since I was coaching middle school but we just stopped blocking at the net because it wasn't doing any good," Johnson said. "Madison's big hitters were just hitting over top of us. So we backed up and defended the 10-foot line and that actually worked out pretty well until Madison's hitters figured it out and made adjustments and targeted the middle of the court.

"I'm not upset that we lost. I'm upset because I think at the end of the game we had some players that weren't following our game plan," Johnson added. "In between sets two and three, I made some adjustments and they didn't make it out on the court and I'm not real happy about that and the girls heard about that in the locker room. That part I wasn't pleased with but the overall effort was pretty good considering that we were outmatched."

Both teams face tough matches later this week. Southwestern faces Class 2A No. 1 Providence - the same team that beat the Rebels in the regional last year - on Thursday.

Madison takes on Jeffersonville at home on Thursday before facing Class 4A No. 6 Seymour in a rematch as well as Bedford North Lawrence on Saturday. The Cubs lost to Seymour in a tournament earlier in the season for their only loss on the court this year. Madison was forced to forfeit a win over Switzerland County last week due to an ineligible player.

"Our focus this year has been the sectional and our schedule helps us toward the goal, win or lose," Lawson said. "We have the talent, now it's just a matter of us getting better over the next three weeks. And I think we will."

Grote sidelined by injury as Shawe stumbles at Milan

Shawe volleyball found itself one set away from a decisive fifth game but fell on the road to Milan 3-1 in an Ohio River Valley Conference match.

The start of the match did not bode well for the Hilltoppers, who not only lost the first set 25-19 but also lost senior Taylor Grote for the rest of the night due to an ankle injury. Grote's absence made it difficult for Shawe to quickly adjust and the Indians easily took set two, 25-15.

"It is very difficult to lose a starter and change your lineup in the middle of a match and it showed in the second game," Shawe coach Kelly Hill said. "By the third game, the girls were more comfortable with the spots they were in."

Fully adjusted and wanting to avoid the sweep, Shawe pounded Milan in the third set, 25-13. However, despite another solid effort in the fourth game, the Hilltoppers could not force a fifth game as Milan clinched the victory, 25-23.

Stephanie Snodgrass was 44-for-48 passing, 13-of-14 attacking and 14-of-16 serving with five kills, four digs and an ace. Jenna Armstrong and Amelia Koehler were a combined 81-of-81 setting. Shelby Green added six kills, Claire Higgins had five aces and Megan Goebel had five kills.

"We still didn't get a win but we hustled and the girls really played hard," Hill added. "We are very proud of them."

Shawe (0-11, 0-5 ORVC) competes in the Southwestern Invitational on Saturday.

Carroll's strong start fuels 3-0 sweep of Williamstown

Carroll County volleyball used a hot start to its advantage on Tuesday in a 3-0 sweep of Williamstown.

The host Panthers dominated the first two games 25-10 and 25-11 and then clinched the match 25-21 in the third set.

Kelly Layton led Carroll County with eight kills and five blocks. Karly Prosser collected six aces.

Carroll County hosts Gallatin County on Thursday.