Times Sports Editor
Coming off a sectional championship, the Northview Knights began a quest towards a repeat by defeating Mooresville on Monday in a four-set decision, 25-15, 23-25, 25-14, 25-20.
The Knights opened up strong in the first game, breaking open a 9-all tie as Hannah Hayes and Kaylee Clark recorded back-to-back kills and Ashlen Buck added a service ace before Clark added a pair of kills on the way to a 15-9 Northview advantage. With a little breathing room, the Knights kept the pressure on as Brylie Riddell drilled one of her 17 kills on the evening to push the gap to 17-12.
Mooresville ran off a pair of points to get within 18-14, but Elizabeth Emmert added a pair of aces and Riddell's kill and an ace finished off a 6-1 run to end the game.
In the second game, Mooresville found a foothold spurred by some Northview mistakes.
"Overall I thought we played pretty well," coach Scott McDonald said. "But we had 17 service errors, 15 hitting errors, so we gave (Mooresville) a lot of points. We just need to eliminate some of the mistakes and we'll be fine."
The second game was a perfect example as Northview mistakes allowed Mooresville to stay within a couple of points throughout the game.
Leading 18-17, Mooresville evened the score on a hitting mistake by the Knights and took the lead on an ace by Ashtyn Fisher and a kill by Amber Viles. Northview rallied back to take the lead on two aces by Emmert and a kill by freshman, Shelbi Morris. However, Mooresville scored the final three points of the game, the final one on an ace by Callan Swaim.
The swing seemed to spur the Knights over the course of the final two games.
Needing one more game to score an opening night win, the Knights started off with a kill from Alexus Bex and a block from Riddell. The lead grew to 12-8 after a kill from Clark and Emmert added a block for a 13-8 lead.
With freshmen, Audrey Clark and Morris getting ample playing time along with varsity newcomer, Alexus Bex, McDonald felt that the trio played well despite some early nerves.
"We had two freshmen in there and Alexus hadn't played much varsity either," McDonald said. "I thought both freshmen played well and Bex is new to varsity too. It's a big step, playing varsity and I know they were nervous. But I think they did a good job."
Northview led 18-13 with Emmert at the service line and Riddell added back-to-back kills to put Mooresville on their heels at 20-13.
Mooresville would rally back to within 23-19, but Emmert had another of her six kills to set up match point and closed the victory with another attack for the victory.
Ashlen Buck was tough on defense as usual, with 29 digs and Hayes had a balanced game with 13 digs, 27 assists and four kills to go with Briana Cook's 15 assists. Clark chipped in 14 digs to go with her 12 kills and Bex had two kills and three digs for the Knights, who play Greencastle this evening beginning with the 6 p.m. junior varsity match.
In the JV game, Northview took a two-game decision against the Pioneers.
Next match: Northview (1-0 overall) takes on Greencastle on tonight beginning with the 6 p.m. junior varsity match.