Erika Smith places the ball over the net during Connersville’s straight set loss to Pendleton Heights on Thursday night.

The Connersville Spartan volleyball team was defeated in a straight set match by the Pendleton Heights Arabians 25-18, 25-18, 25-13 in the Connersville Fieldhouse on Thursday night.

The Lady Arabians were led by senior Avery Ross with 25 kills. Ross was honored during a time out in the 2nd set after recording her 1,500th career kill.

“I’m not upset about our performance tonight,” Spartan head coach Stephanie Smith said. “They’re heavy hitters. It’s hard to practice and prepare for a team that is so fast. They’re awesome, so kudos to them. Pendleton Heights has always been good. Tonight was a great learning experience for us.”

The Spartans was led by Erika Smith with 11 kills. Brynnah Ellis added 16 assists, and Tori Hanson had 6 service points. The Spartans are a veteran group with five seniors who have been playing varsity for the past three years. Along with Smith, Ellis, and Hanson; Katie Fisher and Hope Kelley are preparing for their final post-season.

The Spartans clinched a share of the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference championship last Tuesday, with a win over the Rushville Lions. While the objective is always to win, playing a strong non-conference opponent like Pendleton Heights just prior to Sectional isn’t a bad thing.

“Obviously the game plan is always to come out with the W, but that’s not always the case,” Smith said. “So we’re going to try to speed up our offense a little, and learn what we can by adjusting to a faster pace team going into Sectionals, which is nice.”

Though Thursday’s match was the final home match for the Lady Spartans, the season isn’t over. The Spartans drew conference foe Lawrenceburg for Sectionals coming up on Oct. 12. The Spartans defeated the Tigers in conference play 3-1 at home on Aug. 13.

The Spartan Junior Varsity was defeated by Pendleton Heights earlier in the evening 25-23, 25-13. 


Pendleton Heights;25;25;25



Kills -- Erika Smith 11, Hope Kelley 6, Tori Hanson 4. 

Blocks -- Erika Smith 2, Hailey Semback 1.

Assists -- Brynnah Ellis 16.

Digs -- Erika Smith 6, Rayleigh Bresher, 6, Kerstin Ellis 4, Tori Hanson 2, Hailey Semback 1, Hope Kelley 1, Katie Fisher 1, Brynnah Ellis 1

Serve Receive -- Erika Smith 13, Tori Hanson 13, Rayleigh Bresher 11, Katie Fisher 8, Kerstin Ellis 6, Brynnah Ellis 1

Service Points -- Tori Hanson 6, Rayleigh Bresher 3, 

Junior varsity 

Pendleton Heights;25;25



Kills -- Alivia Perry 2, Bre Brock 1, McKenna Lucas 1, Addy Phillips 1, Grace Kelly 1, Madison Jordan 1, Josie Selby 1 

Blocks -- Bre Brock 1

Assists -- Bre Brock 6

Digs -- McKenna Lucas 8, Dusti Davis 6, Lily Cowan 4, Bre Brock 3, Addy Phillips 3, Grace Kelley 3, Alivia Perry 1, Madison Jordan 1

Serve receives -- McKenna Lucas 11, Dusti Davis 9, Madison Jordan 6,  Lily Cowan 4, Alivia Perry 2, Bre Brock 1, Addy Philips 1, Josie Selby 1

Aces -- Addy Philips 1, Grace Kelly 1

Service points -- Addy Philips 4, Bre Brock 2, McKenna Lucas 1, Lily Cowan 1, Grace Kelly 1