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Blocking helps Perry Central stop Patriots

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By LARRY GOFFINET
Sports Editor

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LEOPOLD—Strong blocking and balanced spiking helped Perry Central beat Heritage Hills 25-21, 25-21, 21-25, 25-15 in volleyball Thursday.
Sydney Goffinet made 15 kills, Ashley Gengelbach 14, and Hannah Harpenau 12. Grace James had 34 assists.
“We had to spread it out (to keep Patriot blockers from keying on Gengelbach),” said Perry Central Coach Becky Genet. “Sydney had a great night—she went 30 for 34 (hitting).
“We blocked well—we had 16 blocks. And we had 90.5 percent serving. Jennifer Kemp went 22 for 22 serving—that’s a big plus.”
Gengelbach made eight blocks, Harpenau three, and James and Jordan Sprinkle two apiece.
Kemp made 19 digs, Harpenau and Brittany Parker 17 apiece, Gengelbach 12, and James 11.
Heritage Hills led 15-11 in the first game after Kaebra LaGrange, daughter of former Perry Central four-sport star John LaGrange, served three consecutive points, including an ace.
Perry Central chipped away and took the lead for good in that game, 21-19, as Goffinet served three points—the last one on her own kill.
Parker served six consecutive points to put the Commodores up 13-6 in the fourth game.
Her last three points in that streak came on a Heritage Hills mis-hit and two unreturned serves—the last one an ace.
Kemp scored an ace and Heritage Hills hit two returns out of bounds as Kemp served the final three points of the match.
Perry Central improved to 18-5 while Heritage Hills, ranked 12th in the state in Class 3A, slipped to 14-3.
Heritage Hills won the JV match 25-16, 25-14.
Hannah Edwards made 13 digs for 8-6 Perry Central.
Sarah Spires added eight digs and four assists and Casey James  also made eight digs.
Maddie Hubert made three kills, had three assists, and served two aces. Mackenzie Etienne and Skyly Cummings each made two kills.
Heritage Hills won the C-team match 25-17, 25-21.
Cummings made six kills and a block and served four aces in that match for the 6-2 Commodores.
Spires added five kills, seven assists and two aces. Michaela Winchester served six aces and Alyssa Gray made five digs.
Perry Central will visit Mitchell for a PLAC match Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.