Right: Brianne Arvin sends a kill past two Plainfield blockers in Thursday's sectional matchup.
PLAINFIELD -- Playing on their home court, a talented Plainfield squad was too much for the Knights in the sectional opener for both squads. The Quakers played cool and collected and weathered each and every rally the Knights put together in taking a 25-14, 25-17, 25-18 volleyball victory on Thursday.
The Knights went toe-to-toe with the Quakers in all three games for the first halves of each set, but Plainfield was the one that finished each one strong for the victory.
As expected, Jessica Wolfe was a big factor in the win, providing Plainfield with double digit kills and seemed to be the emotional key for both teams in fact.
The Knights stayed close to the Quakers in the first game with Christy Fulk opening with a block of Wolfe that boosted the Northview momentum right off the bat. Brianne Arvin put down a kill to follow and the Knights were off and running with a quick lead. But Plainfield was quick to respond, getting the ball to Wolfe who registered her first kill of the game.
Fulk had a nice opening game for the Knights, picking up another block of Wolfe and later serving up an ace that got the Knights within 7-6 early. Wolfe however would team with Allison Lutocka and Shari Barnhardt to put together a 7-2 run to get control of the opening game on the way to an 11 point opening victory.
"We didn't follow our scouting report very well," commented Northview coach Laura Rahn. "Only about half of them did. We served well tonight, but we lacked any spark."
In the second game the Knights got a balanced effort from her squad as Kaley Huffman and Arvin got early kills and both Fulk and Lottie King had blocks as Northview got out to an early 6-4 lead.
Northview played strong in keeping a two point advantage through the midpoint of the game by keeping the Quakers off balance up front. However, the Knights couldn't build on their advantage, holding a 12-9 lead at its biggest point.
Plainfield would take advantage of the Knights' inability to put the game away as a kill by Berhardt narrowed the gap to 14-13 and she followed that up with a serving ace and Wolfe registered a kill. The Quakers built their first lead of the game at 16-15 and following a Fulk kill got the Knights within 21-17. The Quakers buckled down and ran off a three point end to the set to go up two games to none.
In the final game, the Knights showed perhaps their most emotion despite quickly following behind 7-2 early on.
But the Knights showed their resiliency by picking off points on a Fulk kill and a block by Lindsay Thomas. The points would eventually tie the game and swing momentum to the Knights as King blocked Wolfe on back-to-back points.
The game was tied as late as 16-16 before a kill by Plainfield's Brittany Norris and one by Northview senior Heather Palmer. Arvin got the Knights within 20-18 with a kill but Wolfe rebounded with a point and Berhardt registered three of the last four points to down the Knights.
"We served the ball pretty well tonight," noted Rahn. "Heather (Palmer) played a very smart game and did a good job reading the court. It was a good season, I hate for it to end like this."
The Knights finish their season at 27-5 while the Quakers advance to face the winner of the Martinsville vs. Terre Haute South game late Thursday.