Maconaquah’s volleyball squad kept its hopes of a third straight outright Mid-Indiana Conference title alive Thursday night after fending off a late-charging Northwestern squad on the road in four sets, 25-12, 25-12, 23-25, 25-22.
The Braves, who improved to 7-2 on the season (2-0 MIC), cruised through the match’s first two sets, but were unable regain that form down the stretch, giving the Purple Tigers a chance to get back in the match.
“I told the girls I was very impressed with their play in the first and second sets,” Maconaquah coach Jessica Metcalf said. “That third set — I was very disappointed. Point for point — every time they made a mistake, we made a mistake. And, I told them ‘As the season goes on, you can’t point-for-point a team like that.’ We really have to be more alert about where we are on the court, what we’re doing and work on minimizing our mistakes. We have to capitalize on the mistakes our opponents are making.”
Michaela Walters finished with eight kills, 22 digs and nine service points for the Braves. Ally Exmeyer added 12 kills and eight points. Jalyn Windsor added 10 kills. Madison Turner finished with 28 digs and 18 points. Emily Wilson led the defense with 40 digs, and Lynnsie Arion dished 30 assists.
The Tigers (3-6, 0-2) fended off four match points in the fourth set before Maconaquah was able to prevail.
“In the first two sets we came out with some nerves,” Northwestern coach Trina Yager said. “Once we got our minds in the game, in the last couple of sets we started battling back and really got more competitive. I think it was shear determination. I told the girls ‘You have to be determined enough to go out on the court and show them what you have.’ And they went out there and did that.”