By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Kokomo’s volleyball team had a good start against Logansport Thursday in a sectional match.
But the Wildkats weren’t able to close out the crucial first set. The Berries kept the momentum from there en route to a 25-22, 25-16, 25-19 win over the Wildkats in a first-round match of the Class 4A Logansport Sectional.
“I felt like Logansport really played well and they served strong. We really struggled serving to spots,” Kokomo coach Jason Watson said. “We lost confidence towards the end of the first set and we never were able to get momentum back. It’s something we battled being on their home floor and they’re in their comfort zone and we lost confidence and we couldn’t get momentum back.”
The theme of the match was the big runs the Berries were able to go on.
The Kats jumped out to an 18-12 lead in the first set before the Berries closed it out with a 13-4 run.
The second set had a similar finish with Logan going on an 11-3 burst to break open a 14-13 score.
The Kats led 7-1 in the third set but a 15-3 run gave the Berries a 16-10 lead and they were able to hold on from there.
“They played very well, they played confident,” Watson said. “I feel like we started well but we lost confidence and in volleyball, momentum and energy and confidence are huge and when you lose it and don’t get it back, you’re not going to beat very many teams.”
Alanis Jones had eight kills and Tori Lauderbaugh added six to lead Kokomo. Miranda Ogle dished 13 assists.
Amanda Tran collected 19 digs and Lauderbaugh added 12. Jones and Mykayla Fowler each added a pair of blocks. Brooke Smith had two aces.
The Kats have to settle for a 13-20 final record.
“We lost quite a few five-set, close matches or our record probably would be a lot better,” Watson noted. “I felt like we grew from that and we were able to improve on a lot of aspects. Some of the things that were our Achilles heal we were never able to get fixed up, but hopefully the younger girls will be able to improve on those skills in the offseason and make that a strong point instead of a weak point.”
The Kats will lose three seniors to graduation in middle hitter Jones, outside hitter Lauderbaugh and defensive specialist Schuyla Sharp.
“It’s a good group and it’s going to be tough to replace them,” Watson said. “We’re going to have to see who can step up and fill the leadership void.”
— Beau Wicker
3A PERU SECTIONAL
MACONAQUAH def. PERU 25-20, 25-12, 25-17
The Braves earned a semifinal date with West Lafayette on Saturday with a sweep of host school Peru.
Jalyn Windsor florred 11 kills and had seven blocks and four receptions for Maconaquah. Abby Bowyer had 10 assists and 11 service points. Madison Turner had 11 service points (including five aces), four digs and eight service receptions. Emily Wilson had seven digs, eight service receptions and eight service points. Michaela Walters added four points, four digs, four kills and seven service receptions. Lynnsie Arion had seven points and eight assists. And Ally Exmeyer had nine blocks.
“Our girls did a good job of minimizing the mistakes on our side of the net as far as hitting goes,” Mac coach Jessica Metcalf said. “I think I was more impressed with our intensity. Our girls knew they would need to play their A game. I am happy to get the first game under our belts and now we prepare for a Saturday afternoon game.”
2A ALEXANDRIA SECTIONAL
TIPTON DEF. EASTERN 25-16, 25-18, 25-22
Eastern finished the season 17-12 after being eliminated at Alexandria.
Courtney Clark had 18 service receptions and 19 digs for Eastern. Maddie Vint had five kills, 18 service receptions and 11 digs. Lizzy Mavrick had 10 kills, 15 service receptions and 21 digs. Hannah Williams had eight kills. Gabby Castillo had five kills and four blocks. And Quinlyn Hochstedler had 28 assists and eight service points.
Kacie Juday led Tipton (22-11) with 18 kills and three blocks.
A CP SECTIONAL
TC DEF. ROSSVILLE 18-25, 13-25, 25-18, 25-16, 15-13
The Trojans (17-15) rallied from two sets down to beat a Rossville and set up a date with host Clinton Prairie at 11 a.m. Saturday in the semifinal round.
Whitney Revolt had 18 kills to lead the TC offense. Hadley DeWeese had 11 kills and 15 blocks. Shelby Ramsey had 10 kills, 12 blocks and six service points. Haley Farris had 48 digs and 11 service points, Cecelia Rayl 21 digs. Tara Davis had 31 assists and 18 service points. And Kaylee Colvert had 14 assists.
“It was a thriller,” TC coach Ron Byram said. “They’ve beaten us in four earlier in the year so we knew it was going to be a battle. [Rossville] started off playing really well and after the second one the girls just kind of got together and said ‘We don’t want to be done, let’s fight this out.’ We start serving better and passing a little better and then our offense could run better.”