BARR-REEVE -- Northview's volleyball team has actively sought out weekend tournaments the last several years in order to provide it a stern test against unfamiliar competition and styles of play. On Saturday, the Knights hit the road to Barr-Reeve for tourney play and came home with three wins in four matches and a better sense of itself as well.
Northview opened the day with a 25-17, 25-14 victory against Evansville Mater Dei, in which coach Scott McDonald saw his team elevate it's play despite the early start.
"In match one, we played the best volleyball of the year. We got a touch on every swing they made. We also only allowed them to score two points on their serve in the first set and three points on their serve in the second set," McDonald said.
The second match of the day came against an Eastern Greene squad that was ranked eighth in Class 2A this season and brought an 8-2 mark into tourney play. The T-Birds also boasted junior Scottie Ingram, a hitter that led the team with 423 kills last season as Eastern reached the semi-state. Northview wasn't fazed and came away with a hard fought 25-21, 21-25, 15-8 victory.
" Eastern Greene was very talented and had perhaps the best player that we have seen all year. We played another great match, digging every bomb that they hit at us," McDonald said.
The Knights played powerful volleyball throughout the tourney as Shelbi Morris rang up a combined 40 kills in four matches and McKenzi Kumpf added 43 while adding 10 digs. Junior Brylie Riddell added 20 kills, 30 digs and six blocks in tourney action.
The third mach of the afternoon came following a long break and the Knights faced a re-match against the Linton Miners and though Northview started a bit slow, they came away with a 25-23, 25-14 win that propelled them into the championship match against Class A second-ranked Barr-Reeve.
Northview battled to the end against Barr-Reeve, falling in game one by a 25-20 score before bouncing back to take a 26-14 win in game two. In the third, and deciding game, the Vikings were able to score the victory, 15-9 to win the tourney title.
McDonald was obviously very happy with hos his team played against some quality opponents.
Rowan had eight kills and four blocks for the Knights and Willocks provided two kills, five digs, six assists and a block. Bex had three digs, a block and an assist.
The Knights' defense was also pivotal in the run to the title game as Ashlen Buck had 50 digs, Audrey Clark had 24 and Taylor Hess had 18. Briana Cook provided 35 assists and Hess had 43 assists.
"Ashlen and Audrey were great again, Briana and Taylor were also very good all day," McDonald said. "Alexis and Hannah were served a bunch and made perfect passes. At some point during the day, everyone of the girls made some amazing play to keep the play alive or to score a point. I could not have been prouder of our effort, heart, and mental toughness. We have matured into a very good team that fears nobody."
The Knights are now 11-3 overall and travel to Cascade tonight at 5:30 p.m.
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