Lost in the hoopla surrounding Northview’s Class 3A Edgewood Sectional championship in high school volleyball on Saturday was the fact that the Knights had set a school record for victories earlier in the day.
“That was a huge deal to our team,” Shelbi Morris said, “and it was kind of lost and forgotten in the whole winning-the-sectional thing.”
“It was good we got to [set the record] during a sectional [championship],” added Audrey Clark. “Every win we take seriously, and we’ve been wanting to break [the record] for awhile.”
Now, the two senior players said Monday, the goal is making that record unreachable for future Northview teams.
Morris and Clark were members of a team two years ago that matched the previous record of 31 wins. After downing the host Mustangs and Brown County on Saturday, Northview takes a 33-3 record into its regional match at 7 p.m. today at Shelbyville.
That’s impressive enough, considering that high school volleyball teams in Indiana are limited to less than 30 regular-season matches, plus a specified number of weekend tournaments. And the 2013 Knights don’t feel they are finished winning yet.
“We’re trying to keep [the record for victories] on our team,” Clark said Monday, “make us the team to remember.”
“We would love to [put the record out of reach],” added Morris. “This team is full of very competitive people.”
Although the Knights are making as long a regional trip as they could have, they figure to be the on-paper favorite against a Golden Bears team that is currently 15-18.
“They play a pretty good schedule,” coach Scott McDonald of the Knights cautioned Monday about his team’s regional opponent. “I’ve watched them play five matches now [on film], so we’ve got a pretty good idea what to expect and what to look for.”
The Golden Bears’ main asset, McDonald said, is their scrappiness.
“Their setter and their libero are very, very good,” the coach noted. “We’ll have to match that intensity on defense.”
Bring it, Morris indicated.
“Our mental toughness is what helps us throughout,” she said. “We’re a team that shows up when adversity hits us … and being so close [among team members and even parents] shows on the court.”
One of those Northview parents is serving as something of an inspiration for the Knights tonight, the seniors indicated. Amy Rowan, mother of middle blocker Mikayla Rowan, was Amy Reinoehl in the fall of 1984 and a member of the only Northview team that’s won a regional. The current Knights would like nothing better than to join her club.
“We have the ability to win this regional,” said Clark, a very good libero in her own right, “and we’re going to leave everything on the floor.”
“If we can turn [tonight’s match] into a hitting fest, I like our chances,” McDonald said.
Should Northview prevail tonight, the Knights would go back to Edgewood for semistate play on Saturday in a field that could include teams like Brebeuf and Brownstown Central that are traditional volleyball powers regardless of what class they’re in. It’s company the Knights would like to keep.
“There are a lot of doubters out there,” Clark said Monday, “and we want to keep proving them wrong.”