Times Sports Editor
Northview's high school gymnasium had a festive atmosphere on Monday night from the Senior Night celebration, the acappella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner to a volleyball victory over visiting Danville.
The Knights earned a 25-18, 25-16, 25-13 victory against the Warriors in front of a large home crowd to wrap up a 26-5 regular season.
Before the varsity contest, seniors Hannah Emmert, Emily Chiles, Allison Stearley and Lexi Lang were honored. Shortly afterwards, the group took to the floor and scored a game one victory.
Northview got rolling in the first game as Ali Sharton blocked a shot at the net that propelled the Knights to an 11-7 advantage. Lang added a pair of early kills and Stearley contributed a block in the victory. Stearley also had three digs on the defensive side with Chiles adding two digs.
"It was nice to get all the girls in for the first game," said coach Scott McDonald of his seniors' success. "Emily (Chiles), all of 5'1, getting to hit in the front row, made her night," McDonald said with a smile.
In the second game, the regular rotation took the court and the Knights quickly pulled out to a comfortable lead by mid-game.
Hannah Hayes and Brittaney Long took turns with a pair of early attacks and a block by junior Samantha Solomon gave the Knights a quick 3-1 lead. The Warriors briefly rebounded before Lizzie Emmert drilled two quick kills and Long had a service ace. A couple of aces by Sharton minutes later pushed the gap to 17-6 and the Knights were off the races.
The lead remained near double-digits the rest of the way as Clark and Hannah Emmert added kills off assists by Sharton and Hayes. The pair combined for 30 assists and seven kills between them in the match.
In the final game, Long smacked one of her 13 kills to get the game underway. However, Danville stayed close early, tying the match at 4-apiece.
Solomon took care of the tie game when she stepped to the service line and added an ace. The Knights ran off five straight points to take control of the game and finalize the win.
Hannah Emmert had one of her 13 kills to go with four blocks and a kill by Solomon capped another five-point run to 16-8. Over the stretch run the Knights got their seniors back in the lineup to finish the game on a 9-5 run.
Lizzie Emmert had four kills, two blocks and an assist, Ashlen Buck added nine digs and Clark had six digs for the Knights.
Preparing for sectional play on Thursday, McDonald felt that Monday's match was a good tune-up.
"This gave us a chance to play together again with our new rotation," said McDonald. "We got a feel for what we need to work on."
In the JV game, the Knights got a 25-16, 25-17 victory to cap a 13-10 season overall.
Stephanie McMains had four kills along with Brailyn Whitson, Darcy Bass added two kills and both Kalyn Beil and Kylie McKee had a kill.
"This was a completely new lineup and we played pretty well," said coach Greg Mogan. "We passed the ball well and Maxine West served well."
Taylar Yocom had seven assists for the Knights and Briana Cook contributed four. Abby Hayes, Beil and Bass each led the squad in digs.
"Samantha Montague played a good back row game for us," said Mogan. "Both Abby (Hayes) and Montague passed well from the back row."
Northview's varsity starts the postseason with a match-up against Plainfield at the Terre Haute South Sectional following a 6 p.m. opening match between Terre Haute North and Mooresville.
Next match: Northview (26-5) takes on Plainfield at the Terre Haute South Sectional on Thursday.