by tribune sports staff
---- — Kokomo’s volleyball squad picked up a key victory Thursday night, topping rival Logansport 18-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18 at home for its first North Central Conference victory of the season.
For the VolleyKats (8-13, 1-2), it was also a win over a potential sectional opponent in the Berries (13-10, 2-2), who played without the services of Sydney Bullard and Nakeya Penny.
“This is a huge win for us,” Kokomo coach Jason Watson said. “We picked a good time to play our best volleyball of the year in a big conference game against a team we might see again in the sectional. We were strong at the net. We’ve worked hard at having an aggressive mentality at the net, and had our best blocking game of the season. We were able to cut out some of our hitting errors and had some strong kills. I’m really proud of the mental toughness we showed. When we had a lead we were able to hold it, and also came from behind in one of the sets.”
Tori Lauderbaugh led a balanced offensive attack with 16 kills and added nine digs. Kirsten Frey had 13 kills, five blocks and eight digs, and Alanis Jones finished with 11 kills and three blocks.
Brooke Smith finished with five kills and six digs. Miranda Ogle distributed 32 assists and added seven digs and three service aces. Amanda Tran led the defense with 23 digs and 43 service receptions, and Schuyla Sharp chipped in with eight digs.
Maconaquah def. Hamilton Heights 25-17, 25-15, 25-21
The Braves (14-7 overall) improved to 6-0 in Mid-Indiana Conference play and ensured themselves of at least a share of the MIC crown for the third straight year. They face Eastern Tuesday to try to wrap up an undefeated league run.
Michael Walters led the way with 11 kills, 12 digs, 10 service receptions and eight service points. Jalyn Windsor added six kills and eight blocks. Ally Exmeyer added eight kills and two blocks. Leah Julian chipped in with six kills. Madison Turner led the defense with 28 digs and added eight points, while Madison Turner added 14 digs. Courtney Sarver added seven points and six digs, and Lynnsey Arrion dished out 25 assists.
“I’m definitely glad we got the win, yes, but this was probably the ugliest ballgame we’ve played,” Maconaquah coach Jessica Metcalf said. “We have lots of work to do heading into our tournament Saturday at Southwood. I told the girls we have to be playing better ball at this point in the season.”
North Miami def. Eastern 19-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22
The Comets fell to 15-8 on the season after the loss, dropping three straight sets after an opening-set win over the Warriors.
Lizzy Mavrick had 12 kills and 21 digs for Eastern. Kinsey Duke added seven kills and 12 digs. Courtney Clark finished with 24 service receptions and 15 digs. Quinlyn Hochstedler put up 32 assists. Gabby Castillo and Hannah Williams both added five kills, with Castillo tallying seven blocks and Williams adding six blocks.
“Especially when we’re at home, we need to play with a lot more enthusiasm and not get ourselves in a hole,” Eastern coach Missy Mavrick said. “We’ve been struggling with our hitting, not being able to put the ball own. That’s something we’re going to have to work on.”
Cass def. Taylor 25-18, 25-13, 25-10
Valary Farmer led the Titans with seven service points. Ashleigh Till had four blocks and three points and Hannah Mullinax had five digs.
“The team came out and played hard the first set and we did some good things and then in the second set we had to make some changes in our lineup due to an injury. We had kids step up and play. It’s unfortunate because we play well in spurts and do some good things and we lose momentum. We will keep working and we will get better,” Taylor coach Denise Leicht said.
Cl. Central def. Tri-Central 25-12, 25-14, 25-13
Hadley DeWeese led Tri-Central with six kills. Tara Davis chipped in 10 assists.
NORTHWESTERN 5, PERU 0
Brandi Harmon struck twice and had an assist as Northwestern finished the regular season with a road victory. Korey Price, Brooke Treadway and Kennedy Priday also bagged goals. Priday, Kaitlyn Daanen and Kaila Claiborne each had assists, and Chloe Redman had two saves for Northwestern (8-7, 3-3 Mid-Indiana Conference).
“I thought the game was a good ending to the regular season with a week until our first sectional game, and we’re looking forward to tournament time when everything starts fresh,” NW coach Samantha Elkins said.
EASTERN 6, TIPTON 0
Austin Bergman had a pair of goals and an assist and Darren Bellow hit the net twice as the Comets rolled in Tipton. Ben Cole and Cole Walker each scored once. Dillon Ryan had two assists and Nate Everett had one. Delon Tuggle had 11 saves and outfield players Joshua Sommers and Dalton Ryan each cleared a ball off the line. Eastern improved to 11-4 with the victory.
“We’re heading into sectional [next] week and we were trying to stay sharp and we really wanted to get a clean sheet, and they accomplished that which is really nice,” Eastern coach John VanMatre said. “Jordan VanMatre is injured and Austin Bergman did a nice job of stepping up and filling in there [at center forward] and got a couple goals and an assist. It was nice to get goals from different places.”
WESTERN 5, TRI-CENTRAL 0
Chris Root scored a hat trick and Mason May and Nic Bewley added goals as the Panthers rolled at home on senior night. Nick Downey, Root, Bewley and May each dished out assists. Edgar Sanchez had four saves and Brice Campbell had two. The Panthers finished the regular season 13-2-1.
“It was a good performance,” Western coach Mike Roe said. “Kids passed the ball well, we were able to get everybody involved, it was just a strong performance for all the boys. For 10 boys on the team [the seniors] it was their last [home] game so it was a little bit emotional. It was exciting to watch. They did a great job.”
NORTHWESTERN 3, LOGANSPORT 3
Robert Olsen scored and assisted on the Purple Tigers’ other two goals as the host squad built a 3-0 lead at halftime. Olsen’s assists helped Blaine Brutus and Parker Fessenden net goals. Zach Price assisted Olsen’s strike and Evan LaDow had four saves as Northwestern improved to 11-4-1 heading into next week’s sectional play.
“It was a tale of two halves,” NW coach Jim Wagner said. “The first half I think we played some of our best soccer, moved the ball well. It was 3-0 at halftime, feeling pretty good about it. The second half [Logansport] responded, they kind of did the same thing to us — they controlled the ball quite a bit and tied up the game.
“It was a good effort by the boys. Logansport’s a tough team and [the Tigers] played their hearts out and I was very proud of them.”