Times Sports Editor
Northview celebrated its volleyball senior night in style Thursday night, capturing a 26-24, 25-21, 25-18 win against potential sectional foe Plainfield. The win was the Knights 22nd straight overall this season as they improve to 30-3 overall.
Prior to the match, seniors Ashlen Buck and Briana Cook were honored by another large crowd including a raucous student section that is always on hand to support the program.
Both players answered the whistle with big efforts on this evening as Northview won in three, heavily contested sets.
Northview was forced to rally in game one with some hitting mistakes and a Plainfield squad that came into the match fired up and rode that momentum early. Seniors Leslie Fisher and Christine Elrod led the charge with a combined three kills as the Quakers took a 19-17 advantage. However, the Knights, as they've done all season, stayed calm and rallied back as Shelbi Morris drilled a kill and McKenzi Kumpf followed with three consecutive attacks for a 21-20 Knights lead.
Kumpf, who had a strong night at the net, added her fourth kill of the set and Brylie Riddell followed with a block as the Knights led 24-23. Plainfield answered with a tying point, but a Quaker net violation set up game point. Riddell closed out the win as her tip found the sideline for a 26-24 victory.
The story of this match was the Knights defense, which has become a calling card led by Buck, who piled up an astonishing 32 digs in the three sets. The total was a single-game high for the season, which topped her previous best of 24 in a five-game battle with Edgewood. Cook was also outstanding in the passing game as she had 16 assists, six digs and a kill in the final set.
"Thirty-two digs in three sets is unreal," McDonald said of Buck's haul. "That's what she's done for four years though. Briana was great as she has been all year. To have an evening like that to honor just the two of them, two great kids who have been great for our program, it's a nice win against a sectional opponent. It was just a great night overall for Northview volleyball."
In the final game, the Knights ran off six straight points to turn a 13-12 Plainfield lead into an 18-13 Northview advantage. Motter halted the run briefly with a kill, but Northview's Taylor Hess served up an ace following a kill by Hannah Willocks to extend the lead and the Quakers were subdued.
Audrey Clark was another standout on defense for the Knights with 16 digs as Riddell piled up 18 to go with six kills and four blocks. Willocks had five digs and a kill with Alexus Bex adding a dig and two blocks. Hess had 12 assists and eight digs, Morris had seven digs, 10 kills and two blocks.
In the JV match, Northview won the first set, but Plainfield rallied to take an 18-25, 25-20, 15-14 decision. Plainfield's freshman team also won over the Knights.
The Knights improve to 30-3 overall and play at the Martinsville Regional on Thursday at 6 p.m. against Mooresville.
Next match: Northview plays at the Martinsville Sectional on Thursday against Mooresville beginning at 6 p.m.