Times Sports Editor
As a talented group of sixth-grade volleyball players, the current seventh-grade class at North Clay didn't lose many matches during the course of the season. However, one of those losses were handed to the Knights by rival Honey Creek. On Wednesday evening, the seventh-grade turned the tables and claimed one of North Clay's three victories against the visiting Bees.
North Clay's seventh-grade won a battle, 25-17, 20-25, 15-12 to earn a measure of revenge over the Bees and remain unbeaten. The eighth-grade Knights also kept their record unblemished in 2011 with a 25-13, 25-21 victory and the sixth-grade claimed a 25-14, 25-20 win.
In the seventh-grade match, the Knights had to rally in game one following an impressive service display by Honey Creek's Danika Refugio, who served out five aces to put the Bees ahead by a 14-13 count. However, the Knights came back on a point by Quinn Albright and an ace by Stacy Payton for a 17-16 advantage. The set was still tight at 19-17 before Albright toed the service line and served out the final six points with a pair of aces that followed a kill from Payton that gave North Clay the opening game win.
Game two saw Honey Creek roll out to a 16-11 advantage before a kill by Kenzie Stearley ended a run. The Bees remained in the lead, 19-13, as Maddie Russell drilled a couple of aces to help close the gap to 19-15. North Clay would get within 22-20, but the Bees were able to finish out the win to even the match.
In the deciding game, North Clay trailed 10-8 before Kerstie Shaw took the ball to serve and smacked three straight aces and Stearley secured a five-point run off a big dig to put North Clay ahead 13-10 on the way to the victory.
In the eighth-grade match, the Knights took a commanding lead in game one as Zoe Orman rang up seven of her eight service points to put North Clay up 10-3 early. Morgan Stearley added one of her three kills to put the Knights up 13-4. Honey Creek was able to get within 15-10 midway through the game, but Alyssa Yocom capped the opening victory with seven straight points. Ashley Heck added a kill in the run.
In game two, Honey Creek rebounded to gain a 9-6 lead before Kaylee Cooper served out four points and Madison McDonald added one of her four kills.
The game was tied at 10-all as Kaytlin Galloway took the ball to serve and served out three aces and Heck added another. Bre Dove had a kill and the Knights had gathered an 18-12 lead and finished out the victory.
Yocom had 10 points, Orman had eight, Dove, Cooper and Galloway each contributed five, Heck tallied four with Gracie Timberman and McDonald serving up three. Cooper led the team with four assists, McDonald had two and Yocom added two. McDonald led the squad with four kills and Stearley had three.
In the sixth-grade contest, North Clay broke open a tight opening game at 12-10 as Maggie Mershon served an ace and Payton Kumpf followed by adding two aces as part of a six-point run to put the Knights ahead by a game.
In game two, the Knights pulled ahead on Elle Tipton's serve as she added two aces to put North Clay ahead 13-7. The Bees got within 16-14 before Emily Yocom scored an ace as part of a three-point run to increase the lead to 19-14. Hope Grady added a late ace as North Clay wrapped up the victory.
The seventh and eighth-grade Knights visit Otter Creek on Tuesday and the sixth-grade hosts South Vermillion on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
At North Clay