Northview just had too many hitters, coming from too many directions at the net for Terre Haute South to handle in their high school volleyball match Tuesday night.
Northview improved to 17-2 on the season with setter Taylor Hess passing the ball around to three double-figure hitters in the Knights’ 3-0 home victory.
Hess passed out 34 assists with Morgan Stearley hammering 11 kills, Kenzi Kumpf and Shelby Morris 10 each, while Madison McDonald put down eight.
“We’ve got five legitimate hitters we can go to at anytime and Taylor [Hess] is just a tremendous setter. She’s just a great hitter with our setters,” Northview coach Scott McDonald said.
The Braves, 11-10 going into Thursday’s crosstown showdown against Terre Haute North, had their moments but lacked consistency. Setter Natalie Scamihorn passed out 20 assists, but Caitlyn Newton’s 14 kills provided the only double-digit total for South’s offense.
“I saw a lot of great things. We had a lot of highs, a lot of lows, but we just have to work on making those [highs] more consistent. Keeping the highs up longer,” South interim coach Stephanie Millington said.
After a 5-5 tie in Game 1, Northview pulled away when Morris served an ace and followed it with a kill. Northview’s Stearley finished off the first game with a kill right through the middle of South’s defense.
Game 2 was close all the way. Northview inched out to a 12-9 lead before South’s Emma Burke came off the bench to serve eight straight points, including an ace, while Newton made two kills at the net to put the Braves up 18-12.
But Northview responded with a 8-1 run, tying the score 20-20 when McDonald served an ace. The Knights took the lead for good on back-to-back kills by Stearley and Morris.
Northview’s Hess came up with a big block for the final point in the 25-23 win.
Northview swept South 2-0 in the Avon Invitational earlier this season. The Braves could not avoid the 3-0 sweep.
Game 3 was tied on early every exchange. South took advantage of Northview errors to tie the score 22-22, but the Knights did give up on the sweep.
A kill by Kumpf but Northview up 23-22, but South’s Meaghan Etling countered with a tip kill, tying the score again at 23-23.
“What this team has taught me is they don’t quit. They don’t crumble in a tight spot. We didn’t pass extremely well tonight, but when we had to have a pass, all of our passers … we made it. That’s a great sign for us going into the tournament,” McDonald said.
Kumpf’s 10th kill of the match put Northiew up for good and a sideout ended the contest.
“Kenzi is the smartest hitter I’ve been around,” McDonald said. “She sees all 30 feet [of court], she knows where everybody is at on offense and defense. She made great shots tonight and I think that is the key for her. Yes, she can hit for power. But she can make shots too and I think that helps us tremendously.”
Terre Haute South 17 23 23
Northview 25 25 25
Highlights — For South, Caitlyn Newton led the Braves with 14 kills at the net with Bailee Williams contributing four kills and three blocks. Natalie Scamihorn passed out 20 assists and Kaitlynn Gilmore came up with 24 digs. For Northview, setter Taylor Hess passed out 34 assists with Morgan Stearley getting 11 kills, Kenzi Kumpf 10 and Shelbi Morris 10. Morris, Ashley Heck and Madison McDonald also had six digs each.
JV — Northview won 25-11, 25-16.
Next — South (11-10) will host Terre Haute North on Thursday. Northview (17-2) travels to Brown County on Oct. 1.