After an opening victory versus Mooresville on Monday evening, Northview had little time to savor their win as Greencastle's Tiger Cubs came to call on the Knights Tuesday.
Boasting one of the Wabash Valley's best hitters in senior Jordan Robertson, the Tiger Cubs provided an even better gauge of where the Knights are at this early stage of the year.
Greencastle's experienced lineup gave Northview fits early in the match before the Knights rebounded to provide the Tiger Cubs some difficulties of their own before bowing in four sets, 21-25, 20-25, 25-17, 18-25.
The Knights were knotted with Greencastle at 18-apiece in the fourth set after back-to-back kills by Robertson pushed the Tiger Cubs to even the score. However it was there that Greencastle's experience took over.
With Northview junior Kellsy Maurer on the service line, the Tiger Cubs got a clutch kill from Robertson to return the serve to Greencastle and they would not relinquish the turn.
A Northview error on a carrying call was followed by back-to-back aces by senior Megan Call to put Greencastle ahead 22-18 and a short tap over the net and a long kill attempt from the Knights allowed Robertson to put the game away on a tip.
The Tiger Cubs got out to a first set advantage despite a big opening for Christy Fulk who drove home five kills and three blocks versus Greencastle.
However, it was obvious early on that the presence of the 5'11 Robertson and her powerful right arm was a bit intimidating to some of the Knight's younger members.
Robertson blocked an early Lottie King kill attempt and added her first kill shortly thereafter to give Greencastle a quick 12-3 advantage.
The Knights rallied to get within 18-15 behind strong serving from Brittney Spugnardi, who led the team with eight service points along with four aces. However, Robertson and the Tiger Cubs responded by rallying and holding the Knights off in the first set, 25-21.
In set two, Greencastle used a strong middle half of the set to extend a 9-6 lead to 18-9 before a big block by King and Heather Palmer bolstered the Knights temporarily. Greencastle would revive quickly however and hold off a late rally by Northview for a 25-20 win.
In the third set however, the Knights looked to have finally shaken off the jitters and gotten their offense going as King put together five of her team-high 16 kills and seemed to rattle Robertson a bit with her hitting. Fulk added in another pair of kills and Casey Challandes had six service points and a pair of aces in the set victory, 25-17.
The Tiger Cubs and Knights stood toe-to-toe in the decisive fourth set before Northview gave way late in a set that easily could have knotted the match for a final fifth set.
In the contest, freshman setter Lindsay Thomas set up 32 assists for Northview one night after providing 35 versus Mooresville. Fulk had a big night with 11 kills and six blocks up front. Brianne Arvin added five kills along with seven digs. Brittney Spugnardi added a team high 14 digs to her service points and Laura McCrea chipped in three kills, two blocks and four digs. Kaley Huffman had nine digs and seven service points with two aces.
The Knights (1-1 overall) will visit Terre Haute North on Thursday night for a match featuring freshmen, junior varsity and varsity beginning at 5:30 p.m.
In junior varsity action, the Tiger Cubs were winners in three sets 25-15, 19-25, 25-12.
For Northview, Huffman had six kills to tie Ashley Hull for the team lead. Cari Laue added three kills along with Kyler Clark.
Emma Koehler had 15 assists and Chelsea Mershon and Clark each had five service points. Clark had four aces.