By CAREY FOX
Twenty-seven victories against just five losses. A sterling record to be sure, but you'd be hard pressed to find a single returning player on Northview's volleyball team who got any satisfaction from those 27 victories because all they remember is the last one. A three set sectional loss to rival Plainfield that left a bitter taste in their mouth.
So back to work the Knights have gone under the leadership of new head coach Ali Pinkston, ironically a Terre Haute South graduate and a veteran of four years of hard court competition at DePauw University.
Pinkston returns a veteran group of players that includes one of last season's captains, Lindsay Thomas.
Thomas, a junior setter, has displayed a more vocal leadership this season and the results have shown.
The Knights have begun the season at 5-0 after a Thursday night, Western Indiana Conference victory over Edgewood in three sets.
Thomas has averaged nearly 30 assists per contest for the Knights this season a product of her veteran ability. She is a three year starter and is a key cog in the success that Northview has put together so far this year.
Fellow three-year starter, 6-1 hitter Lottie King, has been perhaps the most productive offensive player in Northview history after breaking her own single-season school record with 317 kills last year which helped Thomas break her own mark of 902 assists. King will continue to add to her career kills school record which she took over last season from Christy Fulk who graduated last season.
Kaley Huffman and Brianne Arvin have added balance to the Northview offense and can be counted on to spread out opposing team's blocking schemes. Huffman rang up a team-leading 10 kills against Edgewood on Thursday night while Arvin had nine and King also had nine for the Knights.
While Arvin may be quiet on the court, her presence at the net has been anything but the past couple of seasons and, coupled with, Huffman's amazing leaping ability, provide plenty of headaches for opposing team's.
Kyler Clark will move to the libero spot this season and, with her athletic ability, is a cinch to keep improving all season long despite her early inexperience at the position.
Ashley Hull has also been a standout in the early going for Northview this season.
Her blocking ability, as well as her powerful hitting, have garnered her a starting role for the Knights, one she has excelled in thus far.
Starting on the right side as a hitter is Cari Laue who has improved dramatically with her work during the summer months. She is joined by Chelsea Mershon who will be first off the bench for the Knights and freshman Brittaney Long adds another outside hitter for the Knights.
Pinkston has been working on instilling the 'killer instinct' that has seemingly been lacking during the postseason recently. She feels that the Knights have plenty of talent to win the Western Indiana Conference, a badge that they tied for last year after dropping a match to Sullivan.
The really important goal however, is the sectional championship which will be a difficult road considering that defending state champion Martinsville is a member along with a strong Plainfield squad to go with Mooresville and rival Terre Haute South, led by Pepperdine-bound, 6-5 hitter Kristen Seaton.
The Knights are back in action today, competing in the Crawfordsville Tournament.