By CAREY FOX
TERRE HAUTE -- First year Northview volleyball coach has been working with her team on keeping their focus throughout the entire game this season.
Through two victories this season, she was satisfied with their effort level but knows they can continue to improve.
The same was true following Northview's three set white wash over Terre Haute North on Thursday evening, 25-14, 25-19, 25-13.
The effort was dominating enough that should the Knights finally put that complete game together, there may be no helping their opponents.
"Overall I was very pleased," said Pinkston of her squad. "Our energy level was 100 times better than the first couple of games."
The Knights powered past the Patriots 25-14 in the first game and never looked back from there.
Northview continued their strong play in the first half of the second game, pushing out to a 14-5 advantage. Lottie King opened the Knights' offense with a kill and followed with a block to kickstart the game. Ashley Hull earned a kill followed by an ace from King before Laue pounded home a point across the court to the backline for an 11-2 lead.
The Northview offense remained solid throughout the middle of the game, getting kills from Laue, Long and King on the way to a 23-12 lead. After Lindsay Thomas caught a neutral ball at the net and set it down for a point on the Patriots, the Knights were on the verge of victory at 24-13.
But that issue of maintaining focused arose as Northview allowed the Patriots to gain to within 24-19 on a couple of the Knights' own mistakes, a service ace and a kill by Brittaney Cuthbertson.
"Sometimes the girls tend to relax when they are ahead by a lot. When they get a little pressure on them, lose a couple of points in a row, they panic a little bit," said Pinkston.
In this case however, the Knights rebounded to get the final point off a kill by Huffman that blasted through a North block attempt for a 25-19 win.
The final game was a little smoother for Northview with King setting the pace up front with Huffman at the service line. King gave the Knights the serve with a block to open the game and then added another block and a kill for a 4-1 advantage. The Knights continued to pour on the lead as Brianne Arvin earned a point on a swing and King scored an ace.
Leading 10-3, Laue and Hull each scored for the Knights, coupled with a couple of North hitting errors, Northview had jumped out to a 15-8 lead.
The Patriots compounded their deficit with a couple more mistakes down the stretch and the Knights got kills from Huffman and Arvin along with a block by King to close out the game.
Afterwards, Pinkston credited her team's defense for setting the tone. "(Kaley) Huffman's defense really led us tonight," she commented. "(Lindsay) Thomas was really vocal tonight and did a great job of pulling the girls together when they needed it and made some great decisions on her sets tonight."
Indeed, Thomas rang up a total of 41 assists in the game, setting up an offense that was led by seven kills from King and six from Hull. However, the Knights' balanced attack also got five kills apiece from both Huffman and Arvin along with four from Laue.
Huffman's defense showed up in the stat column with nine digs to go with three from Kyler Clark and two from King who also had four aces. King added three blocks and assisted on five others for the Knights.
Northview's JV and freshman teams weren't as successful, losing their matches. The varsity improves to 3-0 on the season.