TERRE HAUTE —
No one is ever going to accuse Terre Haute South’s volleyball team of being quick out of the gate.
That probably doesn’t bother the Braves one little bit. Not as long as they get to the finish line first.
“We start out slow. Then we get motivation and we push until we win,” South’s Maddie Callahan said.
That’s how the script played out Thursday. South defeated Terre Haute North 3-1 in the Volleyball For The Small intracity match.
North won the first match 25-16, but South won a taut second game 27-25 and held off North rallies to win 25-22 and 25-23 in the third and fourth games.
It was the 18th consecutive victory for South in the regular season intracity match. North has beaten South during that period in tournament play.
South seniors Brittney Pink and Ashley Bazier played big roles in the victory, in addition to Callahan. Pink had nine kills and five digs while Bazier had 30 assists. Callahan and Meaghan Etling also had nine kills.
“I talked to Brittney and Ashley early. We had a lot of young people who had never played in a North-South match before. They needed to set the tone and have them treat it like every match we play,” South coach Madison Minnick said.
The first game was all about which team overcome early-match jitters and it was the Patriots who broke through. Libero Maddy Howes helped fuel a 6-0 run that put the Patriots in front 13-8. North’s passing and defense improved over that period, while South had trouble getting into a gear.
North’s Danielle Krupa powered North on a later 4-0 run and the Patriots controlled the opening game from there.
The second game was intense. South led for most of it — the lead peaked at 17-12 — but North fought back and tied the match at 20. From that point, there were three more ties that had to be broken.
South was able to take advantage of North hitting errors and kill by Callahan to get the Braves’ advantage to 24-22, but a kill by North’s Valerie Lewis and a Pink miss at the net tied it at 24.
South finally earned the second-game victory thanks to a kill by Pink and a passing error by North on a serve by South’s Riley Davis.
The third game was more topsy-turvy than the second, but it featured another close finish. North took a 12-8 lead, only to have South roar back to take a 15-12 lead, thanks to a long service run by Marissa Coutinho. South would lead 19-14, but as they did in the second game, the Patriots chipped away and cut the deficit to two.
It was 24-22 when Bazier provided the third-game clincher. Bazier wrong-footed North’s defense as she flipped it over the net as she put herself in position to set the ball. It surprised the Patriots and put them behind the 8-ball in the match.
South (10-8) was seemingly in command of the fourth game as it took a 17-11 lead, but the fight back that North displayed in the previous two games had a better reward this time. A Krupa-led 5-0 rally helped push North in front 20-19.
North (8-4) led 23-22 on a Brianna Burgess kill, but South’s veterans carried the day. Block kills by Pink at the net put South back in front 24-22 and a Callahan ace clinched it.
“We got down too much. We fought hard and we got back, but sometimes, you don’t get yourself room for error. Then every error becomes critical,” North coach Kris Painter said.
Volleyball For The Small organizers estimated that $15,000 was raised from those who attended the match.
Terre Haute South 16 27 25 25
Terre Haute North 25 25 22 23
JV — North won 2-1.
Next — North (8-4) and South (10-8) both play Warren Central and Ben Davis at Warren Central on Saturday.