Times Sports Editor
SPENCER -- When the Northview volleyball team began practice in August, goal number one on the list was claiming a Western Indiana Conference championship.
While Wednesday's win over the Patriots wasn't the most difficult in the WIC slate, coach Scott McDonald appreciated the victory nonetheless.
"Our first goal every year is to win the conference," McDonald said. "The Edgewood game really stands out in terms of the game that really kick started our season. It got the younger kids involved and the seniors really led the way through the conference season and did a great job. Obviously goal number one is met, we've got more to go."
Northview freshman McKenzi Kumpf and sophomore Shelbi Morris did plenty of work in putting the Knights out front in the opening game as the pair combined for seven kills and it was Kumpf that was at the service line to help open a 14-7 lead into an 18-7 margin. Morris blasted all three of her first game kills in the run and Kumpf added an ace as the Knights cruised to an easy victory.
The second game was a bit closer, but the Knights were able to spread the attack out as junior Brylie Riddell smacked one of her eight kills for a 13-8 margin. Owen Valley clawed back to within 13-11 on a kill and a block from Kayla Richardson. However, the Patriots made a pair of hitting errors before Riddell served up an ace, freshman Mikayla Rowan added one of her three blocks in the match and Morris had a successful tip for a 19-13 lead for the Knights.
Northview finished out the game two win on a kill from Riddell and the Patriots' Katie Watson sent a shot long to end the set.
In the final game, Richardson got Owen Valley started with a block and a kill for a 2-0 lead, but two kills from Riddell and one from Morris gave Northview control again. The Knights' passing helped spread the attack out and keep the Patriots off balance as four different Knights had four different players had three or more kills. The Knights setters, Taylor Hess and Briana Cook combined to keep the attack going. Alexus Bex also posted two assists.
"The setters really did a good job tonight spreading the ball around," McDonald said. "We had hits from all six of our main hitters. It was a lot tougher for (Owen Valley's) defense to adjust to what we were trying to do. We did a lot better job tonight of controlling the tempo of the game. We were able to run some of our quicker stuff. It was a nice win for us tonight."
With a 14-7 lead in game three, Ashlen Buck stepped to the service line and left little doubt as to the outcome as she served up four of her seven aces to push the gap to 22-8. Hannah Willocks added a kill in the eight-point run that clinched the match.
The Knights improve to 23-3 overall and finish 6-0 in the WIC with a trip to the North Montgomery Invite on Saturday.