Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


October 18, 2013

NTC Tournament Altamont, Neoga to face off for Pool C crown

Altamont and Neoga, the two top seeds in Pool C, finished Thursday night 2-0 to set up a matchup on Friday to determine which team will advance to the Gold Flight to play for the National Trail Conference championship on Saturday.

Altamont didn't get there without its share of challenges in wins against Beecher City and Dieterich, battling slow starts with help from seniors Amelia Kopplin and Deidre Ledbetter.

Kopplin served seven consecutive points for Altamont in a 7-7 first set against Beecher City to boost her team to a 14-7 lead that it'd hold onto, winning the opening set of the NTC tournament, 25-14.

Ledbetter made an impact in the next set, serving nine consecutive points to give the Indians a 10-2 lead that led to its 25-10 win to clinch the game.

Against Beecher City, Kopplin finished with a team-high six aces and Ledbetter finished with three.

“They take their serving very seriously,” Altamont head coach Tim Dooling said. “If they don't get points, they're bothered by it.”

While Koppling and Ledbetter picked their team out of its slow start, Dooling said the team struggled to get in its offensive flow early in the game against Beecher City.

“Volleyball is sort of random,” Dooling said. “If you can get the game into the flow you like it, then you play well. Sometimes, early in games, you just start going back and forth.”

In Altamont's second game, Dieterich battled the Indians after losing the first set 25-6. Dieterich held leads of 17-10 and 23-19 in the second set, but couldn't hold off the Indians.

Kopplin lifted Altamont back from a 18-13 deficit, serving six consecutive points to move the Indians into a 19-18 lead.

“It's good when you're pressure and have to play,” Dooling said. “Anytime you have to play, it stretches your team and makes them accountable with what they have to do.”

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