TERRE HAUTE —
Every match can be your last in a single-elimination tournament and that creates pressure. Not Terre Haute North’s volleyball team.
The Patriots overpowered Plainfield 3-0 Thursday night in the second match of the Class 4A volleyball sectional No. 12 at Brownsburg High School.
“We talk about let’s just do what we do and it’s just made us relax. We just go out and play. This has been just like another game even though we know, we lose we’re done,” North coach Kris Painter said.
The victory puts the 23-10 Patriots into Saturday’s semifinals against either No. 2-ranked Avon or Martinsville at 12:30 p.m. Terre Haute South (17-17) meets host Brownsburg in the 11 a.m. first match.
Strong games at the net by Amanda Eberle and Brianna Burgess and the setting of Anna Taylor led the Patriots’ second win of the season over Plainfield.
Eberle had 14 kills and one block at the net and also came up with 12 digs. Taylor passed out 37 assists, going to Burgess for 11 kills.
“For us to be successful, [Brianna] has to get at least 10 kills, [Amanda] has to get at least 10 and then our middles and our right side kind of pick up, get three, four, five apiece and then we’re in pretty good shape,” Painter said.
Valerie Lewis and Lindsey Klingele each added four, plus the Patriots got a couple more from Taylor, Kristin Mauer and Emily Brasier.
North beat Plainfield 3-0 during the regular season, but their records were nearly identical going into the rematch and that was reflected in the opening game of the match.
Plainfield got out to an early 3-1 lead with North hitting wide and long. But once the score was tied 5-5 the two teams traded kills and errors to a 16-16 tie.
North took the lead for good at 17-16 on a Burgess kill. The Patriots slipped ahead 21-18, but the Quakers closed to within one, 21-20. The Patriots used Quakers errors to win 25-21.
When Burgess put the Patriots ahead for good in game one, she actually put them ahead for the night. They never trailed in games two and three.
“I think we’ve done that a lot this year. We’ve kind of started slow and played back and forth point for point and then we find a way to just pull a way. That’s what [the Patriots] are pretty good at, finding a way to get a point. They’re not necessarily pretty, they’re not necessarily good points, they just find a way to get a point. And that leads to finding a way to win and that’s probably what this team is probably the best at,” Painter said.
North never trailed en route to the 25-17 win in game two. The Patriots powered their way out to a 4-0 lead on aces by Burgess and kills by Eberle.
North held a 20-10 lead, then held off a late Plainfield rally for a 2-0 lead in the match.
In game three, the Patriots pulled away from an early 5-5 tie to lead 14-9 on an Eberle tip. A kill by Burgess gave the Patriots a 20-12 advantage and kills by Taylor and Mauer put North up 24-19 before Klingele finished the victory with a kill.
Terre Haute North 25 25 25
Plainfield 21 17 21
Highlights — For North, Amanda Eberle led the Patriots with 14 kills, 1 block and 12 digs and Brianna Burgess had 11 kills. Setter Anna Taylor passed out 37 assists, made two blocks and had eight digs. Madeline Howes led the Patriots with 16 digs and Kristin Mauer came up with 10 digs.
Next — Terre Haute North (23-10) will play the winner of the Avon-Martinsville at 12:30 p.m. or immediately after the 11 a.m. match between Terre Haute South (17-17) vs. Brownsburg.