FORTVILLE — With both volleyball teams having just one loss in the Hoosier Heritage Conference, both Mt. Vernon and Greenfield-Central had something to prove n Tuesday night, on top of the pivotal conference win.

The Cougars (13-3, 2-2) were looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking five-set loss to New Castle on Thursday and return to their early-season form, and a young Marauders (11-7, 3-1) team was looking to make a statement against not only a Hancock County rival but a team that had just two losses entering the night.

At home, the Marauders made that statement loud and clear by sweeping the Cougars in straight sets 25-15, 25-15, 25-21.

“It’s a pretty big win for us,” Mt. Vernon head coach Samantha Grider said. “We talked about it on Monday pretty heavily, and about what we needed to do to shut them down.”

For Greenfield-Central, after starting the season 12-0, the loss was their third in the last four matches, and their sixth straight lost set after going up 2-0 on New Castle.

“I’m kind of at a loss for words,” Greenfield-Central head coach Candice Wyatt said. “The last few practices we’ve been going hard and have been working on things that we’ve struggled with. But then we come out in a game and wait until the third set to start doing those things. We took way too long to get started.”

That slow Cougars start was evident right away, and Mt. Vernon took advantage.

A 6-3 lead early for the Marauders in Set 1 moved to 8-6 before they reeled off the next 11 points.

Two kills from Sophie Damer, two from Olivia Johnson and one from Easton Wampler over the stretch fueled the Mt. Vernon run.

A pair of timeouts from Wyatt did little to stop the Marauders attack and a Kate Ferguson kill closed out the set.

“The first two sets they had a really good outside hitter that was eating us up, and we just couldn’t stop her,” Wyatt said. “A big portion of tonight was just our passing and we weren’t slowing down the ball at all, it was just going straight into the ground.”

In Set 2, the Cougars slow start was the culprit once again.

Behind two Alivia Morgan kills, the Marauders jumped out to a quick 8-3 lead, and never looked back.

A Mya Grigsby ace and Madison Sonsini kill for the Cougars brought them within three, 10-7 but that was as close as they would get.

Mt. Vernon scored 15 of the next 23 points.

Following another Wyatt timeout to try and slow things down in a 20-13 game, a pair of Ava Whitmore aces all but sealed the Set 2 win for Mt. Vernon. Wampler put the exclamation point on the win with her second kill of the set.

“Early in the season our serve receiving was spot on. We never got aced, and we always had a two or three pass, but now it’s struggling,” Wyatt said. “The players haven’t changed so I’m not sure what the problem is. Maybe we’ve just been going up against some tougher competition lately.”

Greenfield-Central kept things closer in Set 3, but the attack of Wampler and the Marauders front row was too much.

Sparking a 7-5 lead for the Cougars was Rilee Roland who had kills on five of the team’s first seven points.

G-C pushed the lead to their biggest of the night, 15-11, before Mt. Vernon made their push.

Four Wampler kills over the Marauders final 14 points helped seal the win.

On the night, she led Mt. Vernon with 12 kills and had seven in the final set.

“It’s just that fast offense that we run, and Ava did a great job of setting the ball,” Grider said. “With Easton’s power, when she’s on and consistent, we don’t lose very many games.”

Mt. Vernon limited Greenfield-Central’s top attacker, Grisgby, to just seven kills. She came into the night averaging five kills per set.

“It was just eye coordination and knowing where she [Grigsby] was on the floor,” Grider said. “In practice yesterday we worked a lot on what they ran and where she would be going.”

Greenfield-Central hosts another HHC opponent Thursday at 7 p.m., Shelbyville, while Mt. Vernon travels to New Castle on Thursday to continue their HHC schedule.

“The rest of the season is just going to keep getting tougher, so we need to figure out what is wrong and what we can do better,” Wyatt said. “We’ll watch film and try to learn from this, but it’s a tough loss when we were doing so well.”