Times Sports Editor
The home standing Northview volleyball team denied Linton a sweep of Clay County Thursday night by knocking off the Miners in three games, 25-10, 25-20, 25-16.
Northview turned a 7-3 lead into an 11-3 advantage on three aces by Brylie Riddell and a kill by Mikayla Rowan. Later in the opening game, it was freshman Madison McDonald that served up three aces to push the lead to 19-7. A block by Riddell and a kill by McDonald would give the Knights an easy win to start the match.
However, Linton rebounded strong in game two as a block by Macy Fidler and one from Brianne Karazsia preceded a successful attack by Fidler for a 6-2 Linton lead. The Miners would maintain the lead through most of the game. Courtney Johnson added a kill later in the game and a pair of hitting errors by Northview gave Linton a 13-7 advantage.
The Knights began to chip away at the lead as Riddell posted one of her nine kills and Morris drilled one of her team-high 11 kills to get the Knights back to within 14-13.
Late in the set, Linton still held a 19-18 lead after a kill by Morris. The junior outside hitter then served up an ace to tie the score, which seemed to fluster the visitors.
A pair of hitting errors and a tip from Rowan put the Knights up 22-19 and a block by Rowan preceded the game-winning tip by McKenzi Kumpf as Northview scored 11 of the final 13 points in the game.
"Coach (Jill) Fougerousse makes those kids scrappy and they are hard to beat," Northview coach Scott McDonald said. "They get a touch on almost every ball. That's one thing we talked about. We have to be able to terminate plays better. They are never going to be out of it because of their defense. It was just a very average performance on our part."
The Knights carried the momentum into game three, jumping out to a 13-3 lead after a kill by freshman Morgan Stearley. Linton answered right back with an ace by Cassidy Clothier and Northview had several service errors of their own, which allowed the Miners to claw within 18-11 after a kill by Fidler. Linton continued to narrow the gap with a 4-0 run to 21-15.
At that point however, the Knights got a kill by Riddell and a service ace from the senior to finish out a victory that had McDonald scratching his head.
"On the good side, we won. Tonight was a copy of what we did on Saturday," McDonald said. "We'd play well, we'd have a let up and we'd play well again. We just have to find more consistent play. We need to learn to have a killer instinct when we have a team down. We beat them in that first game and then in game two, we kind of relaxed again thinking that teams are going to roll over and they just aren't going to do that."
Stearley had seven kills for the Knights and Rowan added three. Audrey Clark led the team with eight digs as Hannah Willocks posted four along with Kumpf and Ashley Heck. Riddell had three to go with a team-high four blocks. McDonald led the way with 22 assists, Hess had nine and Stearley added three.
Northview is back in action this weekend at the Barr-Reeve Invite.
Next match: Northview (8-2 overall) travels to the Barr-Reeve Invite on Saturday.