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Knights tangle with top competitors at Barr-Reeeve

Monday, September 3, 2012

McKenzi Kumpf had a combined 39 kills for the Knights in four matches at the Barr-Reeve Invite on Saturday. [Order this photo]
Times Staff Report

MONTGOMERY -- Northview faced off for the second weekend in a row against some tough invitational competition, coming away with a split of four matches at the Barr-Reeve Invitational.

Northview knocked off Perry Central and Evansville Mater Dei while falling in three sets to Class 2A No. 4 Eastern Greene and dropping a two-set match to Class A No. 3 Barr-Reeve.

The Knights took on the Thunderbirds in the opening match of the day and were charged with slowing down a veteran team that returned nearly everyone from a squad that lost in the state championship match last year. Northview fell in the opening set 25-20, but had a solid lead in game number two before letting it get away in dropping an extended 32-30 set for the loss.

"We played pretty well, Purdue recruit Scottie Ingram was very good, but I thought we controlled her pretty well," Northview coach Scott McDonald said. "We were up 21-13 in Set 2 and gave that lead up. We just have to learn to finish games off when we have the chance."

Shelbi Morris had 16 kills to lead the Knights with Brylie Riddell adding 14 to go with six digs. McKenzi Kumpf added 10 kills and three digs with Taylor Hess adding 17 assists, four aces and five digs. Audrey Clark had 12 digs and Ashley Heck contributed eight. Madison McDonald recorded 19 assists and three digs. Hannah Willocks posted nine digs and Alexus Bex added a kill and two assists.

Ingram had 17 kills in the match, but was limited to one block and eight digs in the win.

Northview bounced back against Evansville Mater Dei in the second match to score a 25-21, 25-19 victory. The momentum carried over to the third match as the Knights battled past Perry Central for a 26-28, 25-18, 15-8 victory.

"We continued to play well. For the first time this season, in close sets, we were able to close out. Mater Dei was a big team and we were still able to hit off and around them," McDonald said of the first win of the day. "We played very well (against Perry Central). They were even bigger than Mater Dei with a 6'4 girl. We really battled with them and eventually wore them down with great defense."

Northview freshman Morgan Stearley had 15 kills and eight assists in four matches at the Barr-Reeve Invitational on Saturday. [Order this photo]
Against Mater Dei, Morris, Riddell and Kumpf each had double-digit kills with Morris leading the way with 14. Riddell led the squad with four blocks and Stearley had six kills, four assists and a block. Mikayla Rowan had four kills with Bex and Hess each posting two. Hess also had a team-high 17 assists with McDonald adding 14. Clark and Willocks combined for 17 digs. In the win over Perry Central, McDonald and Hess combined for 38 assists and five aces and Clark contributed 14 digs to go with 10 from Heck. Both Rowan and Riddell had three blocks. Morris had a team-high 16 kills.

In the final match of the day, the Knights struggled in opening against Barr-Reeve, but scrapped back before dropping a 25-16, 23-25, 15-10 decision.

"The first set, we did not play well. The rest of the match, we played at a high level in a tough environment," McDonald said. "We had to deal with an injury, but everyone stepped up and played some different roles and did a great job."

Riddell had a team-high 15 kills in the match to go with three blocks and three aces and Kumpf provided 11 kills followed by Morris with 10 and Stearley with six. Stearley also had six assists along with Hess as McDonald led the way with 31. Clark and Heck combined for 27 digs.

"We felt that our defense led by Audrey, Ashley and Hannah was very good. The tip coverage problem that we had in our previous tournament is much better," McDonald noted. "Brylie, Shelbi, and Kenzi were outstanding all day, and Mikayla, Morgan, and Alexus are starting to be more consistent. Taylor and Madison ran our offense very efficiently and effectively. We were able to take a lot of good things from a tournament that we played three ranked teams in. We really like the direction we are starting to go."

The Northview junior varsity volleyball team competed at Edgewood on Saturday and came away with a pair of wins, defeating Eastern Greene and Edgewood.

The Knights knocked off Eastern Greene 25-11, 25-14 and defeated the Mustangs 25-19, 25-12.

"We played perhaps our two best matches of the year so far. Our floor coverage was much improved, which had a great deal to do with our passes being more to the target," junior varsity coach Greg Mogan said. "This led to a good day setting from Lindsey (Potter) and Kaylee (Cooper) and more efficient hitting from Bree (Dove) and Whitney (Halfhill). Gabby (Horrall) and Lainie (Latham) did a good job in the middle giving the opposing hitters trouble at the net. I had very few complaints about our team effort Saturday and felt like the back row play from Emily (Pollard), Maddie (Nevins), and Gracie (Geswein) was very good."

The Knights (varsity 10-4, junior varsity 7-1 overall) host Cascade on Wednesday evening beginning with the 6 p.m. junior varsity contest.

Barr-Reeve Invitational

Match one

Eastern Greene2532

Match two

Ev. Mater Dei2119

Match three

Perry Central28188

Match four