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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Northview's season ends to Braves in final

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Northview's Samantha Soloman rockets one of her six kills through the Terre Haute South defense in Saturday's sectional title match. Emmert had a pair of kills in the match. [Order this photo]
TERRE HAUTE -- A couple of points here or there and simply one or two breaks and Northview's volleyball team could be basking in a sectional championship this week.

But those breaks simply didn't come the Knights way over the final couple of games against Terre Haute South.

The Braves made the plays they needed to down the stretch and played some extraordinary defense to defeat the Knights in four games, 22-25, 25-22, 25-14, 25-19.

The Knights advanced to play in the title game by knocking off Mooresville in the semifinal match, 22-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-14.

Samantha Solomon had 10 kills, Hannah Emmert added eight and both Brittaney Long and Lizzie Emmert added seven. Kaylee Clark topped the team with 22 digs and Hannah Hayes added 20 assists.

Northview came out in game one playing at its highest level.

Samantha Solomon and Brittaney Long each scored on kills early as Northview grabbed the lead. The Braves made some early hitting errors and were on their heels as the Knights' attack pressured the host squad.

Northview's advantage grew to 14-8 after Hannah Hayes' successful swing and a block by Clark forced a Braves' timeout.

South made a rally to within 19-17 in the game after a service ace from Macy Toon, but Long answered back with an ace of her own and Hannah Emmert drilled a kill for a 21-17 advantage.

From there, Emmert added a late ace and Clark's kill gave Northview a huge confidence boost with a first game win.

"We won that first game and we had a lot of confidence," agreed Northview coach Scott McDonald.

That momentum carried over into the second game as a pair of opening kills by Long and a service ace from Clark gave the Knights a quick 3-0 lead. But a team as good as the Braves are won't go away easily.

The Knights maintained the lead until the midpoint of the game when the Braves started getting into a rhythm.

A hitting error by Northview gave the Braves their first lead of the game at 12-11 and a block by Jessica Chichester forced a timeout by the Knights.

Following the break, the Braves continued to roll, getting a kill from Madison Steward to advance the Braves' lead to 19-15.

The Knights climbed back within 22-20 after a kill from Emmert, but the Knights missed on an attack at the net and a service error evened the match for the Braves.

"In the second game, we had a lot of opportunities. I thought if we could steal one there. . .but (the Braves) are so athletic, and they hit the ball so well. They're a tough cover," said a disappointed Northview coach. "South is just so athletic and hits the ball so well. They're a good team."

The disappointment of the second game loss appeared to carry over into the third game for the Knights, who never could get their feet under them in dropping game three 25-14.

When the Braves opened a 10-6 lead in game four, it appeared as if the Knights might pack it in.

However, Northview continued to battle on a kill by Solomon and, two aces from Clark and a kill from Hayes re-ignited the Knights.

The match stayed close as Northview found their hitting stroke and defensive balance. Ashlen Buck, Clark and Emily Chiles and Hayes were all over the court digging up the Braves' potent strikes.

Buck led the team with 20 digs with Clark adding 12 and Hayes contributing 13 with Chiles lifting up seven in the match.

The Braves extended their lead to 18-14 on back-to-back kills by Taylor Hayne before Emmert halted the run with one of her five kills.

Despite the Knights' determined efforts, the Braves wouldn't be denied the title as Steward drilled two more kills and a Northview hitting error extended the lead to 22-15. The Knights had one more, brief rally in them, scoring on one of Long's 17 kills and getting an ace from Hayes, but Long's final attack went long to end the match.

In the match, Ali Sharton had 17 assists and four digs for the Knights with Clark also adding three kills and a block. Solomon had six kills.

"I'm just extremely proud of these kids," said McDonald. "Going into this season, no one really expected much of us, but they really rose to the occasion. I'm thrilled to get this far, but disappointed we couldn't win this one for our seniors."

Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional

Championship game

Northview 25 22 14 19

T.H. South 22 25 25 25

Next game: Northview concludes season while Terre Haute South advances to the Seymour Regional on Saturday to face Floyd Central.

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