Each team could have folded up its tents during a hard-fought high school volleyball match Thursday night in Northview High School’s gym, but neither did.
In the end, the host Knights outlasted Terre Haute North 25-19, 24-26, 25-21, 25-19.
In Game 1, Northview jumped ahead 9-4, 14-8 and 19-13 before the visitors pulled within 20-18 on a kill by Mandee Eberle, who finished with 19 for the night. Then the home team tallied five of the final six points to win the first game.
Northview seized a 6-0 advantage in Game 2 and maintained a six-point advantage at 16-10. Then North chipped away, cutting its deficit to 20-19 on another Eberle kill. The Knights later padded their cushion to 24-20 on a Kenzi Kumpf kill, a double hit by North and a Morgan Stearley kill, threatening to take a 2-0 lead in games.
But coach Kris Painter’s squad stormed back, using a Brianna Burgess kill, a wide return, a net violation, a Valerie Lewis block kill, another Eberle kill and an ace served by Kristen Mauer to win in a dramatic fashion by a 26-24 score.
Northview refused to get demoralized, however, pulling ahead 6-4, 10-7 and 15-12 in Game 3. North later catapulted on top 18-17 on — you guessed it — a kill by Eberle. But the home squad rattled off five straight points — including a block kill by Taylor Hess, kills by Shelbi Morris and Mikayla Rowan and an ace by Stearley — to move ahead 22-18. A few plays later, Hess served an ace that skimmed the top of the net to clinch the third game.
Game 4 started similarly, with Northview gaining the advantage — 7-4, 9-5, 11-7 and 21-17 to name a few scores — before North again rallied to slice its deficit to 21-19. But the Knights racked up the final four points to post the game and match triumph.
“It was roller-coaster match, no doubt,” Northview coach Scott McDonald assessed afterward. “Our gameplan tonight was to attack everybody but [Maddy] Howes. … We battled extremely hard. We didn’t serve as well as I would like to have seen us do. But that was a great high school volleyball match to watch.”
“I think in every game, we were down three, four or five points [early],” Painter said from the Patriots’ perspective. “On the final scores [except for Game 2], that’s what we ended up getting beat by. We kinda had a slow start in all the games and then we had an opportunity to lay down and die. But we didn’t do that. We kept fighting and that’s what we’ve got to continue to do. … I thought we had some lapses here and there that one or two swings could have made a huge difference in the match.”
Terre Haute North 19 26 21 19
Northview 25 24 25 25
Highlights — For Northview, Shelbi Morris had 18 kills and 4 digs; Madison McDonald had 12 kills, 8 digs and 2 aces; Kenzi Kumpf had 11 kills, 4 digs and 2 aces; Morgan Stearley had 9 kills and 3 aces; Taylor Hess had 5 kills, 40 assists, 16 digs and 3 aces; and Audrey Clark had 19 digs.
For North, Mandee Eberle had 19 kills, 22 digs and 2 aces; Anna Taylor had 30 assists, 11 digs and 3 aces; Kristen Mauer had 14 digs and 2 aces; Maddy Howes had 14 digs; Lauren Comer had 5 kills and 6 digs; and Brianna Burgess had 5 kills.
JV — Northview won 25-24, 20-25, 15-13.
Next — Northview (3-0) will be at home Monday to take on Rockville. North (1-1) will be at home Tuesday to battle Shakamak.