Times Sports Editor
Northview's volleyball team earned a three-game victory against Terre Haute North in an early season test for both programs.
"I thought our kids responded really well," coach Scott McDonald said. "North is traditionally a good team and have been really good the last few years. For the first time, I thought we played like we were capable of playing. We did a lot of things right, our service and passing were just outstanding. We served to zones really well. (North) got a lot of touches on our swings at the net so we made just some adjustments with our hitting. That's a good win for us and a good confidence builder."
The first game was what you might expect between a pair of traditional rivals, as the score was tight throughout.
Northview led 16-15 at the halfway point before a pair of hitting errors by the Patriots and a kill from North transfer, Hannah Willocks pushed the Knights lead to 20-15. The Patriots made a run thanks to a pair of successful attacks by Danielle Krupa to get within 21-20. The Knights Shelbi Morris smashed a shot to halt the run and would add a second kill and a block down the stretch before Brylie Riddell ended the game with one of her six kills.
The second game was all North in the early going as Northview suffered some of their own mistakes as the Patriots jumped out 15-8. However, the Knights were plenty familiar in making comebacks as they did in the opening match of the year against Mooresville.
The Knights rallied together to score 11 of the final 12 points to get the victory.
Riddell had a block and freshman McKenzi Kumpf blasted one of her game-high 12 kills to set the tone. North regained the serve with an 18-14 lead, but a service error by Mikinzi Kiefer opened the door for the Knights.
Kumpf served up an ace and a tip by Morris tied the score at 18-all before Willocks planted an attack, Morris had a kill and a block followed by an ace by Briana Cook helped seal the comeback.
"The Mooresville game we were down big and came back to win," McDonald said of the season-opening win. "I think we were down 15-8 (in the second game) and came back to win. That's an easy spot for a young team to fold. It goes back to that club experience and having leadership like Ashlen (Buck), Briana (Cook) and Brylie (Riddell), they just grinded that game out. I thought we really put some pressure on their young defense. I thought our setters were really good at mixing it up, (North's) middles could never really figure out where we were going."
Indeed, the passing by freshman Taylor Hess (16 assists, seven digs) and Cook (11 assists) was superb in setting up the Knights' hitters.
The third game was all Northview as a kill by Morris, an ace by Audrey Clark and another kill by Morris pushed the Knights' lead to 16-9. North didn't have an answer for the Knights' momentum as Kumpf added her final kill of the night, Riddell had a service ace and North served a ball long to clinch the match for the Knights.
Clark had 12 digs and Ashlen Buck posted a team-high 20 digs in her outstanding job at libero for Northview. Hess added seven digs, Riddell had four blocks and 12 digs and Kumpf tallied four. Mikayla Rowan added a kill and two digs.
The Knights JV team lost a 25-18, 18-25, 4-15 match and the freshmen team lost in two games.
The Knights are 3-0 overall and host Rockville on Monday evening at 6 p.m.
Northview 3, T.H. North 0
Next game: Northview (3-0 overall) hosts Rockville on Monday at 6 p.m.