By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — 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.”
Hannah Ballard led the Tigers with 14 kills and eight blocks. Kristin Ireland added 27 digs, and Sydney Zeck distributed 24 assists.
TRI-CENTRAL DEF. EASTERN 25-17, 26-24, 25-19
After losing five matches in a row, Tri-Central (5-6) came out on top by sweeping Eastern (7-6).
“We have been working on offensive consistency, and we were a lot better [Thursday], so it was nice to see” Tri-Central coach Ron Byram said. “Our service was aggressive, causing Eastern trouble.”
Haley Farris led Tri-Central with 19 digs and 18 service points. Cecilia Rayl added 17 digs and seven service points. Hadley DeWeese came up with eight blocks and five kills, and Tara Davis had 14 assists and four aces. Shelby Ramsey added six kills, followed by Amelia Moe and Whitney Revolt each with five.
Eastern’s coach Missy Mavrick wasn’t happy with how her team started the match.
“Started off slow, and we couldn’t recover from that [Thursday],” Mavrick added. “We need to go back to work to get ready for a couple of conference games next week.”
Lizzy Mavrick led Eastern with 13 digs and 12 kills. Hannah Williams added nine service points, seven digs and five kills. Quinlyn Hochtedler came up with 27 assists and 13 service points, and Courtney Park had 17 serve receptions and 12 digs.
CASS DEF. KOKOMO 25-15, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23
Cass took it right to Kokomo (2-8) in winning in four sets.
Kokomo coach Jason Watson knows his team is struggling right now.
“We are still having trouble putting sets away when we get momentum,” Watson said. “We end up panicking or putting the ball down, and we lack confidence. But, we’re working on and getting better each day.”
NW 174, MARION 180, WESTERN 202
Northwestern (15-1) was six strokes better in defeating No. 12-ranked Marion, and Western came in third at Chippendale Golf Course on the championship front nine.
“It was a big victory over a ranked team,” Northwestern coach Randy Lindgren said. “The girls love greens with decent speed.”
Alexis Hungate shot 40 in leading Northwestern, followed by Olivia McClure (42), Ashton Martin (43) and Carly Shaw (49).
Minka Gill led Western with a 42, next was Natalie Newlin (49), Anna Austin (55) and Sophie Frazier (56).
LOGANSPORT 186, TAYLOR 194
Taylor was eight strokes better than it was Wednesday night, but it wasn’t enough as Logansport won by eight strokes at Chippendale Golf Course’s Vintage Nine.
Daysi Jarvis was medalist with a 43 in leading Taylor. Jarvis was followed by Taylor Mosier (48), Ashley Fritsch (49) and Bree Wright (54).
“It was a pretty evenly matched night for the ladies as it came down to the last girl for Logansport to come out with the win,” Taylor coach Justin Palmer said. “I was very pleased with how the girls played [Thursday] and in my opinion it is the best they have played together all season. Even though the girls didn’t come out with a win it was a pretty awesome site to see them all around the last green laughing, crying and consoling each other after the final score. They were also cheering on their teammate Daysi Jarvis as she was the medalist with a 43. I am very pleased with their performance over the past three days and cant wait to see how well they play Saturday at our MIC meet.”
TAYLOR 4, EASTERN 1
Taylor (4-2) improved to 2-1 in the Mid-Indiana Conference after defeating Eastern.
Taylor’s No. 1 singles player Jack Lipchik started things off with a 6-1, 6-0 win. The Titans’ No. 2 singles player Camden Kimbler was tops in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Taylor’s No. 3 singles player Casey Glick won in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
The Titans’ No. 1 doubles team of Cole Schroder and Austin Douglas also won in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.
“The three seniors [Lipchik, Glick and Douglas] all three played well,” Taylor coach Dave Wise said. “They got into their match, and finished at the same time. Kimbler struggled at first in his match, but finished strong, coming back and winning in three sets.”
PERU 3, NORTHWESTERN 2
Northwestern got points from Nathan Chou, who won the No. 3 singles match 6-0, 6-0, and from the No. 2 doubles team of Kohl McCully and Jaycee Ellis, who won 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. Northwestern fell to 3-6 (1-2 MIC).
“I thought overall even though it was a loss it was our best match we’ve probably played all year,” NW coach Matt Woods said. “Every match was tight. We didn’t get blown out at any position. Peru is, I believe, the leader in our conference and we fought the entire way.”
MARION 4, KOKOMO 1
Kokomo’s (4-5, 1-1 NCC) only win came at No. 1 doubles as Erik Bowen and Brad Dockemeyer won in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 in North Central Conference action.
The Wildkats’ coach Shawn Flanary knew going in that it will be a tough match against Marion.
“The guys are making progress,” Flanary said. “Marion returned 6 of 7 starters. I was really proud of the No. 1 doubles team. One of the guys cracked his racket and he borrowed the coaches racket, while the other slightly turned his ankle. It was a great effort I thought.”
NORTHWESTERN 4, EASTERN 1
Northwestern (7-1) moved to 4-0 in the Mid-Indiana Conference with the three-goal win.
Robert Olsen led the way for the Purple Tigers with two goals. Jacob Wagner added a goal and an assist, and Jesse Murdock also had a goal. Blaine Brutus assisted on a goal. Goalie Evan LaDow had six saves.
“The boys played really hard,” Northwestern coach Jim Wagner said. “We had a lot of good passing and teamwork, especially in the middle of the field.”
Jordan VanMatre scored Eastern’s goal. Delon Tuggle had a dozen saves for the Comets (6-3, 2-1 MIC).
“We did all right in the first half, second half a big wind storm blows up and the wind is against us and they kind of kept us down on our side the whole time,” Eastern coach John VanMatre said.
“Northwestern always gets in our head a little bit and that’s kind of how it went. We were just uncharacteristically poor in terms of our shape.”
TAYLOR 2, TRI-CENTRAL 1
Taylor scored twice in the second half to overturn a deficit and take the game. Savannah Delgado scored Taylor’s first goal to even the game at 1-all, then Lauren Shively scored Taylor’s go-ahead goal on a penalty kick with 10 minutes left to give the Titans the win. Lydia Owens had eight saves for the Titans (2-6-1).
“We knew it was going to be pretty evenly matched and we came out pretty flat,” Taylor coach John Piotrowicz said. “Our girls thankfully kept pushing and improving as the game went on. We got a little more organized in the second half and got a little more control of the ball. I think we started wearing them down a little bit.”
WESTERN 3, DELPHI 2
Abby Webster broke a 2-all deadlock with a header from 18 yards out off an assist by Sarah Connolly to give the Panthers the victory on the road.
Courtney Pitzer opened the account for Western with a goal off a feed from Emma Harbaugh, then Harbaugh scored off a Connolly assist for a 2-1 halftime lead before Delphi equalized again. Western improved to 5-3 with the victory.
“I thought that we passed really well,” Western coach Nicole Jackson said. “We played on a little bit of a smaller field and we didn’t get as many shots as we needed but I feel like we’re getting better at working as a team, as a unit.”