For the Brazil Times
PLAINFIELD -- The Northview Knights' volleyball team resumed practice Monday with a much clearer picture of where they must improve, following a tough Saturday in the Avon Invitational Volleyball Tournament.
Northview, 4-1 going into the tournament, was 1-3 for the day against a field of Class 4A teams like they will face in the state tournament.
The Knights opened pool play with a 25-19, 28-16 win over Franklin , but fell in the second match against Class 4A No. 6-ranked Avon 25-17 and 25-10.
Moving into the main draw, Northview lost to Greenwood 15-25, 25-19, 15-13 and to Indianapolis North Central 24-26, 25-23, 15-12.
Northview coach Scott McDonald said the Knights did not play well all day.
"We didn't play well the first match (with Franklin) either. This match (with Avon), they just beat us. They're big and they're athletic and they're good. That's why they are No. 6 in the state," McDonald said.
"We were sloppy all day. Ball control and defense is what we have to live by and today we just were not very good."
Northview appeared to be in a team in transition. Senior setter Hannah Hayes watched from the bench with her injured knee wrapped in a brace while junior Briana Cook chased passes on the court.
"We played two games going into today with that rotation and played really well Thursday [against Edgewood ] in a conference game and that just didn't roll over to today at all," McDonald said.
"I thought Cook played pretty well considering she had to chase the ball all over the gym half the time. We just didn't play well in serve receive. We just got to do a better job of putting the ball in play and giving ourselves a chance to swing. We just have to do a better job passing," McDonald said.
Along with passing, the Knights also had trouble at the net. Northview is not a tall team and had trouble blocking. The Knights' back row defenders took a pounding.
"We're not big, but we should be able to get more touches (at the net) than what we did," McDonald said.
"I thought Ashlen Buck and Audrey Clark both played great defense all day, but when they have to sit back there (on the back row) and take bomb after bomb, eventually it's going to wear them down."
Buck came up with 14 digs against Avon, 12 against Greenwood and 17 against North Central. Clark had four digs in the Franklin win.
Brylie Riddell led Northview hitters in three of the four games. The sophomore had seven kills against Franklin , 15 against Greenwood and eight against North Central. Lizzie Emmert and Shelbi Morris each made six kills against Avon . Emmert made eight kills against North Central and Clark had five.
The Greenwood and North Central losses could have gone either way, as Northview split sets in each match, forcing the third game.
"Part of the learning curve they've got to learn is the mental toughness of it. North Central and Greenwood both went after us pretty hard. We've just got to be able to answer that call. We'll be fine," McDonald said.
Northview, now 5-4, returns to action Thursday at home against Linton.
Highlights -- For Northview, Brylie Riddell had seven kills and three blocks, while Briana Cook passed out 12 assists. Kaylee Clark served four aces and came up with four digs.
Highlights -- Lizzie Emmert and Shelbie Morris led the Knights' net game with six kills each, while Cook distributed 10 kills. Ashlen Buck mad 14 digs.
Highlights -- Riddell paced Northview with 15 kills, Cook passed out 28 assists and Buck came up with 12 digs.
Highlights -- No more than five points ever separated the two teams during the three-game match. Riddell led the Knights with eight kills and Cook passed out 21 assists. Buck made 17 digs and served three aces.
Next game: Northview (5-4) will host Linton on Thursday.