Volleyball Falls To Northfield

Posted on October 10, 2017 in Fall Sports, Volleyball

Junior Khloe Price attempts a kill vs. Northfield

Junior Khloe Price attempts a kill vs. Northfield

BY JACOB RUDE – srude@wabashplaindealer.com
WABASH – It was fitting that, on Senior Night, Northfield volleyball’s lone senior, Ava Smith, led her team on multiple comebacks.
In a game where both sides struggled at times and both sides pieced together long runs, it was the Norse who walked away with a three-set win over Oak Hill, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23.
“It felt very good to win on Senior Night,” Smith said. “I feel like came in with a very good mindset and we really persevered through the game and fought hard.”
The young Norse roster, which features nine freshman or sophomores and just three upperclassmen, followed Smith back from deficits in two of the three sets on the evening while withstanding multiple big runs in each set from the visiting Eagles.
“…We struggled but we always have that way of fighting back and coming back and winning, which is what we need down the stretch here heading into sectional,” said Northfield head coach Ted Bahney.
On the other side of the net, Oak Hill battled strong in each set before falling up just short each time, something head coach Anne Fagan chalked up to bad luck.
“I told the girls in a timeout ‘You’re working hard, you’re working hard. The balls just not going our way tonight so you’re just going to have to work harder,’” Fagan said. “I felt like they did. Luck just wasn’t on our side tonight.”
The most comfortable set of the night for the Norse was the opening one, which saw them race out to an early 9-3 lead. Northfield held off the Eagles all the way to 19-12 before the guests came alive.
Oak Hill reeled off four-straight points to close the margin to 19-16 and force a Norse timeout. The hosts responded by taking three-straight and opening the lead up to 24-18 once again.
The Eagles’ most spirited rally of the set saw them close the margin once more, this time to 24-23. However, the Norse closed the set wit ha point to win 25-23.
Set two was a back-and-forth affair that saw the visitors grab their first lead at 7-6, stretching it to 9-6. From there, the Norse took control, using a run of six unanswered points to take a 12-9 lead.
Northfield would lead the rest of the way, but Oak Hill would close the margin multiple times. The biggest push came late when Oak Hill closed the gap to 22-21, but Northfield rattled off three-straight points to win 25-21.
Set three looked to be where Oak Hill would break through after scoring six-straight to lead 14-10. Northfield saved its biggest comeback of the night for the end, first ripping off six of the next seven points to lead 16-15.
After seeing Oak Hll take back the lead at 18-16, Northfield responded once more with a 4-0 run to seize control of the contest.
Trailing 24-21, the Eagles used back-to-back points threaten the Norse, but Northfield closed the game for the straight set win.
For Oak Hill, despite dropping the contest and falling to 14-15 to close the regular season, Fagan and her team are confident heading into sectional play.
“I think we’re feeling pretty good,” Fagan said. “We got the bye, so we’ll be playing Taylor. We beat them earlier in the season, so I think the girls are feeling good about that. One game, then we’re in the championship. I know we have to beat Taylor first, but they’re feeling pretty good.”
Oak Hill’s win over Taylor came in mid-September when the Eagles won in straight sets. The two teams received the bye and will meet on Saturday at Madison-Grant at 12:30 p.m. with a spot in the finals on the line.

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