by Gary Andrews
It was the much anticipated volleyball sectional final at North Miami Saturday night with the upset minded Northfield Lady Norse taking on the six time defending sectional champion Southwood Lady Knights. Northfield would make it to the championship by defeating Oak Hill 25-9, 26-28, 25-14, 25-8. Southwood got to the final game by getting by county rival Wabash 25-22, 25-15, 25-20. Southwood would get off to a good start, flexing their muscle most of the night, winning their seventh straight title 25-16, 25-18, 25-15.
Southwood would get game one started with a Drew Rhamy kill that got a 5-0 run started to jump out to a quick lead. Tori Snyder would stop the run with a kill, but the Knights responded with three straight and led 8-1. The Norse would then find power hitter Kylie Echard who pounded two kills and the Norse cut the lead to 8-4. Amy Bowman would then get a kill as the Knights scored five of the next six to increase their lead to 13-5. Lexi Brickner had two kills during the spurt. Echard and Elaina Terrill would trade kills with Brickner and Sami White and the Knights held a 17-9 lead. The Knights would continue the pressure, building the lead to 21-12, going on to the 25-16 game one win.
After a 2-0 start for Southwood in game two the Norse would respond, scoring five of the next seven game points to take a 7-5 lead. Elaina Terrill would record two kills during the run with Liz Howenstine getting a tip for a kill. The Knights would then do what they do best and go on a run. Lexi Brickner would spike one straight down that started a 11 point run, putting Southwood in the drivers seat at 16-7. Sarah Peters and Sami White would also get kills during the run. The Lady Norse wouldn’t fold though. A kill from Holly Dyson got the Norse going as they would score nine of the next thirteen points to cut the Southwood lead to 20-16. The Knights would out score Northfield 5-2 down the stretch with kills from Murphy and White to win game two 25-18.
With all the momentum on Southwood’s side, the Knights would take advantage of it early in game three. Sami White would start the game with a kill, also getting kills from Murphy and Bowman to jump out to a 5-2 lead. Elaina Terrill would get a kill to make it 5-3 when the Knights did their thing. Starting with a Sarah Peters kill, Southwood strung out five straight to take a 9-3 lead. Liz Howenstine would stop the run with a tip for a point as Northfield scored three straight to make it 9-6. Another 5-0 Knight run would increase the Southwood lead to 14-6 when the Norse made a run. Tori Snyder would get a kill that started a 5-1 run as Northfield cut in to the Southwood lead at 15-11. Four straight by Southwood made it 19-11 as the Knights would not allow the Norse to score more than one point at a time down the stretch to capture game three 25-15 and their 7th straight sectional title.
Southwood will now host the regional on Tuesday against Clinton Central who was a 25-11, 25-18, 25-9 winner over South Vermillion. The game is a rematch of last years regional that the Knights won 25-21, 25-18, 25-16.