Bradford volleyball honors seniors in last game of regular season


By Drew Terhall

BRADFORD — It was the last regular season match for the Lady Railroaders volleyball team. Bradford hosted Covington to end their regular season slate. They fell 3-0 to the Lady Buccs on Senior Night.

It was an up and down game for Bradford. They had slow starts to open each set, but had spurts of great play.

Head coach Alisha Patty said the team experienced the usual ups and downs of any high school team. They just couldn’t find the consistency needed to gain the upper hand in this one.

Covington is also a tough team to go up against. They are a 10 seed in Division IV. Patty said the different array of hitters was tough for the team to keep up with. Especially trying to contain senior Carlie Besecker was a challenge.

“Carlie Besecker, she’s an animal when it comes to hitting. She can jump, she can hit anywhere. You can tell her to put it somewhere and she’s going to put it there. It’s hard to defend that as a team,” Patty said. “I give a lot of credit to Lonnie (Cain) and Ellie (French). They have a good program and they’ve built a very good program.”

Besecker is fifth in the Three Rivers Conference in kills with 175 this season and tacked on more after this one.

Covington got out to hot starts in the first two sets. The Lady Buccs had a 9-0 lead to start the first set. They forced Patty to call some early timeouts to get her team settled in.

The team did start to get on a few short runs after those timeouts were called. The communication started to show and they were able to force some volleys.

Covington put an end to any momentum Bradford was creating early and cruised through the first two sets.

In the third set, things started to click early and longer for Bradford. The set started out closer than the first two and the Lady Railroaders were hanging in there.

Senior Brooklynn Crickmore had a nice stretch behind the serving line that gave Bradford some life. They were keeping it close with her serving and the offense capitalizing on the times Covington was out of system.

But, they couldn’t sustain the run. Covington got the offense rolling again and completed the sweep with a 25-11 set win.

It was the last home game for the five seniors on the team. Patty said she has had coached Crickmore, Macenzy Hemmelgarn, Savannah Lingo, Izzy Painter and Faith Gray since they were freshman.

She also said it’s going to be rough losing them. She described them as a bunch of characters that kept things interesting and light. This year, they have stepped up as the senior leaders of the team.

“The beginning of practice I can go and do my errands with the AD or with the principal if I need to talk with them or whatever I needed to get done. I know the first 30 minutes of practice is going to be done and they have it handled. They’ve trained the younger ones a lot,” Patty said.

The team finishes with a 2-20 record and an 1-10 WOAC record. They will have a bye in the Southwest Division IV playoffs. They will face the winner of the second seed Jackson Center and 24th seed Catholic Central.

Patty said the team will have quite a bit of time off this week with the pumpkin show happening. They won’t be able to be together often. Patty is giving them time to enjoy themselves and enjoy being together as a team before the postseason begins.

“We’re doing a team activity at the pumpkin show. That will be fun. Right now, it’s just enjoying each other’s company and having fun with the girls. Next week, we will have three hard, good practices before we go into the tournament game,” Patty said.

The time will also give them a chance to get eyes on their opponent. Patty said during the grind of the regular season, it’s hard to watch film on some opponents before a game.

With the extra time, the team can see their next opponents and notice some of the small things they do.

“It could also help with the mentality of we see them play, it’s a little less shocking when they come out and what they’re going to do,” Patty said. “We know one girl tips or one girl hits long, it’s good to know those kind of stuff in between.”

Bradford will play their tournament game at Arcanum on Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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