By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Maconaquah’s volleyball team outlasted Kokomo in a back-and-forth match Monday night on the Wildkats’ floor. The Braves won the first two sets (25-23, 25-21) and the Kats won the next two sets (25-21, 25-19). The Braves then won the decisive fifth set, 15-12.
“We came out very flat,” Mac coach Jessica Metcalf said. “We had no momentum, even in the first two sets. Kudos to Kokomo because they fought hard. The second two sets, we came out even flatter. For some reason, we could not get our intensity level up. Our motto all season has been ‘all heart, all hustle, all the time’ and I told the girls before the fifth set that we needed [that mindset] from start to finish in that set. Thankfully, we jumped out and were up 13-6. Kokomo crept right back in and we were able to finish it at 15-12.”
Metcalf noted Michaela Walters and Ally Exmeyer offered their usual solid play to lead the Braves. Walters had 13 kills, 12 service points and 15 digs and Exmeyer had 14 kills and seven blocks.
Jalyn Windsor also contributed to the Braves’ attack, totaling eight kills, seven blocks.
“Jalyn continues to impress me,” Metcalf said. “She has such a better sense of where the open spots are and is really getting there with the block.”
Also for Maconaquah (21-10), Madison Turner had eight points and 19 digs, Emily Wilson had 12 points and 11 digs and Lynnsie Arion had 11 points and 35 assists.
Tori Lauderbaugh led Kokomo (10-20) with 22 kills and 13 digs. Kirsten Frey had 16 kills and four blocks, Brooke Smith had 15 kills and Alanis Jones had eight kills and one block.
Also for the VolleyKats, Miranda Ogle had 47 assists and 14 digs and Amanda Tran had 31 digs.
“We didn’t start off very well,” Kokomo coach Jason Watson said. “I felt like we gave away the first set, but we were able to fight back and show a little bit of heart and force a fifth set. We just got a little bit tight toward the end and weren’t able to convert when the game was on the line.”
NW DEF. CASS 25-12, 25-23, 25-21
Hannah Ballard floored 21 kills to lead the Purple Tigers to a three-set sweep of the Kings. Ballard also had 18 digs and one block kill.
Also for Northwestern (9-12), Kristin Ireland had 14 service points (six aces), 10 digs and eight assists, Sydney Zeck had 33 assists and 13 digs, Kelsey Richards had 12 points (two aces), Alexis Brown had eight kills and one block kill, Whitney Zeck had seven points and five kills and Emily Harshman chipped in 19 digs.
PERU DEF. TAYLOR 25-9, 25-23, 25-14
Ashleigh Till served 13 points to lead Taylor and she also topped the Titans in blocks. Kayla Renbarger added eight points.
“I was pleased with.the effort,” Taylor coach Denise Leicht said. “The first set we started off slow, but we hung in there and did some good things, digging some hard hits and playing some good defense. Peru hits the ball hard, spiking and serving. It was good to see us respond. We also didn’t have many service errors, which is something we have been working on.”
WINAMAC DEF. CARROLL 25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22
Winamac spoiled Carroll’s senior night, but the Cougars’ lone senior, Bailey Worl, had a strong match. Worl floored 21 kills.
Also for Carroll, Elizabeth Eurit dished 30 assists in her return from a concussion, Libby Eller had four aces and 18 digs and Lauren Worl had six kills and 12 digs.
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