The Knights showed flashes of the dominance that makes them a scary team to face on a given night. Against Terre Haute North on Thursday, when the Knight's hitting was on, there was little the Patriots could do to stop the host squad. But there were other times when some frustrating inconsistency showed and that's what coach Scott McDonald feels the team needs to work on despite earning a 25-12, 25-15, 25-20 victory.
"We made some mental mistakes, missed some serves that probably cost us six or seven points, but we passed the ball pretty well and played good defense tonight. I didn't see many balls hit the floor."
Indeed, perhaps the most positive part of Northview's win was the all-out hustle that the entire team displayed in diving for balls and hitting the floor to save shots off the net. That effort alone earned them several points as those saves were passed to the Knights' hitters who had a big night.
In the opening game, the Knights opened strong with kills from Lottie King and Brittany Long to set the tone. That muscle continued throughout the 13 point win as King and Long combined for eight kills and Kaley Huffman added five of her own.
The Patriots struggled to slide their blockers into position as Lindsay Thomas did an excellent job of distributing the ball side-to-side to avoid North's front line.
Leading 13-9, the Knights took control with a 6-0 run paced by a pair of service aces from Ashley Hull.
That run took the air out of North's sails and sent the Knights on the way to a quick first set victory.
In the second game, Northview jumped out to a 10-3 advantage in the early stages as Huffman served up an ace and King had two blocks at the net. Hull sent down her third kill of the match to push the lead to seven points for the Knights.
Credit the Patriots with rallying back to within 17-13, taking advantage of some mistakes by the Knights.
North freshman Mary Kate Etling dropped a couple of kills on the Knights who seemed to lose some of their focus in the middle of the game. But the distraction was shortlived.
King's kill gave Northview a 20-15 lead late and a tip by the 6'2 senior preceded a kill from Long to set up game point. The Patriots sent a shot wide to settle the second game in Northview's favor as well.
Terre Haute North brought the fight to Northview in the final game, taking their first lead of the match at 7-4 before the Knights began to rally back.
Huffman tipped a shot over the Patriots' defense and another tip, this one by Hull, evened the game at eight-apiece.
Northview squeezed out to a narrow two point lead in the middle stages of the game before a string of two kills from freshman Hannah Emmert coupled with an ace and a kill from King put the Knights in control at 19-14.
From there, Emmert and Huffman added kills as Northivew finished off the match strong to take the straight set victory.
"North's got a good team," commented McDonald. "But we're starting to see some progression (for our team)."
The Knights JV team won a 25-15 victory and the 'C' team lost a 25-15, 24-25, 12-15.
Stephanie McMains had 13 service points in the first game of the 'C' game and in the 'B' game the Knights' Brailyn Whitson had five points in game two as did Ali Sharton.
Northview 3, T.H. North 0
Next match: Northview hosts Rockville on Monday night beginning at 5 p.m.