The Northwestern Tigers came away with their first-ever Hoosier Conference championship in volleyball after defeating Lafayette Central Catholic 25-18, 25-18 in the championship match Saturday at Northwestern.
Northwestern started the day off with a 25-16, 25-21 win over county rival Western, which finished in sixth place in the tournament.
The Tigers then had a battle against Benton Central in the semifinals, coming away the victors in three sets 21-25, 25-16, 15-12.
“We have been runners-ups the last two seasons,” Northwestern coach Kathie Layden said. “These girls have worked hard and have had amazing attitudes, they deserve this championship for sure. This is an extremely tough conference and to beat Benton Central and LCC [on] the same day is quite a feat. Both teams came in with fantastic records (22-4 BC, 18-4 LCC), and are loaded with talent.”
Madison Layden led Northwestern with 56 kills, 25 digs, 18 assists, 14 service points and seven blocks. Kendal Rooze added 53 assists, 16 digs, 10 service points and three blocks. Klair Merrell had 19 digs, 15 kills, 15 service points and three blocks. McKenna Layden came up with 12 kills, 10 service points and two blocks. Lexi Robinson had 22 digs, 14 service points, five kills and three blocks. Tori Closson totaled 13 service points and eight digs. Leah Carter had seven kills and seven blocks, and Emma Byrum had 15 digs and five service points.
“Statiscally, Madison was hard to stop at the net, and to have only one hitting error in three matches is impressive,” Kathie Layden added. “All the girls played well, definitely a team win!”
The Panthers defeated Twin Lakes 25-19, 25-13 and Tipton 25-14, 25-19. Western lost to Northwestern (25-16, 25-21) and West Lafayette (25-23, 25-16).
“I’m proud of the way the girls played,” Western coach Jessica Oliver said. “Our conference has a lot of great teams in it. I think we are heading in the right direction at the right time.”
Halle Rezo led Western with 37 service points and 32 digs. Sadie Harding added 34 service points and 32 assists. Hilary Merica had 28 kills, and Taylor Scott added 20 kills.
Kokomo dropped three pool matches then won its final match of the day. The Kats fell to Southwood (21-25, 25-18, 15-9), fell to Fort Wayne Northrop (25-23, 25-22), and to Frankfort (25-20, 25-19) in pool action. The Kats then beat Marion 25-22, 25-23.
Mae Brandon had 22 kills, seven aces and 26 digs for the Kats (10-15). Malori Nichols had 18 kills, 10 aces and 16 digs. Jada Moore had 15 kills. Asijah Miller had 10 digs. Jannessa Reece had six kills. Jada-Claire Broomfield had 41 digs. Jalynn Warden and Sarah Stonebraker each had 14 digs and Hallie Ramirez had nine. Correll Heath had 69 assists and 31 digs.
“We had some strong points of play in the tournament. We were right there in most of the matches and could have won all of the matches if not for some mental lapses and an effort play here or there,” Kokomo coach Jason Watson said. “Our serving was pretty strong on the day. We know we’re right there, we just have to get better before conference next Saturday.”
Tipton sophomore Lucy Quigley shot an 89 to close action at the State Finals at Prairie View G.C., tying for 37th with a two-day total of 170.
Kokomo’s Kiah Parrott shot a 70 on course to make a major move on the day, but was disqualified after the round after self-reporting her scoring error. Her scorecard read 69 instead of 70. Had her score counted, she would have finished sixth overall with a two-day total of 148.
Evansville North’s Faith Johnson medalist by two strokes, finishing with 142. Homestead won the team title with 605, 12 strokes ahead of Evansville North.
West Lafayette put up a score of 27 to win the 10-team Hoosier Conference meet at Northwestern. Western was fifth (141), Cass seventh (174), Northwestern ninth (216) and Tipton 10th (264).
Lauren Longshore finished 13th to lead Northwestern (20:59), followed by Ella Deck in 25th (22:02), Katelyn Saul in 56th (25:06), Adri Freeman in 60th (26:01), and Kaylynne Fernandes in 62nd (26:14).
“We had a couple under the weather but they gutted it out and ran as hard as they could,” NW coach Dave Stevens said. “This is one of the toughest girls [conferences] there is, so sometimes when you finish eighth or ninth you’re a lot better team than you think you are. There’s four or five teams that are probably going to win their sectionals, maybe win their regionals.”
McKenna Leicht led Cass with a 10th-place finish (20:40), Olivia Lushin paced Western, taking 16th (21:16), and Cathryn Reily led Tipton in 46th (23:30).
Carroll posted a score of 34 to win the Hoosier Heartland Conference meet hosted by Rossville and held at Jackson Morrow Park. Eastern was third with a score of 49. Tri-Central and Taylor were incomplete.
Ella Kantz led the Comets in fifth (20:51), followed by Victoria Leeder in seventh (21:41), Claire Hubbard in 12th (23:22), Natalie Schneider 17th (23:51), and Alivia Salkie 20th (24:06). The top 14 runners were named all-conference.
“The girls raced really well,” Eastern coach Ben Cox said. “We came in wanting to compete well and it didn’t turn out quite the way we hoped ahead of time, but each of the girls ran the race they needed to run.”
Maconaquah placed third in the conference meet with a total of 54 points. Rochester was the overall winner with 29 points, followed by Manchester (51), and Tippecanoe Valley coming fourth (112). Peru didn’t have enough runners for a complete team score.
Karli Miller led Maconaquah with a fourth place-finish in 20:09, followed by Zoe Seward (5th, 20:21); Haley Salinas (9th, 20:54); Abby Heath (25th, 23:23) and Rachel Eby (35th, 24:39).
“The weather was perfect for the race, and our ladies delivered some impressive performances,” Maconaquah coach Allen Sayger said.
Peru was led by Chloe Holler with a 20th-place finish in 22:51. Sadie Carter came in 30th (24:06). Brianna Bennett was 36th (24:56), and Hannah Garling was 46th (28:48).
Kokomo finished in fifth place in the NCC race.
The Wildkats were led by Julynne Spidell with a second-place finish in 20:00. Gadea Castano was 35th (23:49). Sedalia Herrara came in 44th (25:22) and Emma Nelson was 46th (25:45).
“The LadyKats ran well with four of our six finishers achieving a personal best,” Kokomo coach Chad Salinas said. “We will hopefully see our young team continue to drop their times at sectional next weekend.”
West Lafayette recorded a perfect score of 15 to win the 10-team Hoosier Conference meet at Northwestern. Western was second at 74 points, Northwestern sixth with 177, Cass seventh at 189, and Tipton ninth at 191.
Brayden Curnutt led Western in sixth overall (17:30), followed by Joseph Packard in seventh (17:35), Pete Bradshaw in ninth (17:36), Taylor Rathbun in 21st (18:17), and Charlie Conkle in 31st (19:07).
Times for the lead runners were slowed because the leading pack of approximately 10 runners took a wrong turn and had to reverse course. That accident affected Curnutt, Packard and Cass’ Bailey Scott.
“While it didn’t necessarily change the [team] outcome it certainly changed the [individual] results,” Western coach Gary Jewell said. “Brayden and Joseph would have been in the top four. That’s part of mental toughness is coming back from that. Brayden, he did a good job, he just got nosed out at the line by West Lafayette’s fifth man. When it happened, Joseph was just catching the pack. They probably lost a good 12 to 15 seconds. That allowed West Side’s pack to catch back up. The upside is it allowed Pete Bradshaw to get in the top 10.
“What we really wanted to accomplish was we wanted to get under 70 points and we got 74. If we hadn’t had the problem halfway through the race I think we probably could have had a shot to get under 70.”
Scott led Cass with a 10th-place finish (17:38). Brody Brack led Tipton, taking 16th (17:59).
Isaiah Kanable led Northwestern in 27th (18:59), followed by Caden Lechner in 28th (19:04), Caleb Champion in 29th (19:05), Jace Cournoyer in 43rd (19:32), and Gunnar LaShure in 50th (19:57).
“Really, really pleased with a sixth-place finish for such a young group,” NW coach Dave Stevens said. “I think they’re getting ready to making a run and possibly advancing to regional, especially with that pack of three guys together.”
Meet host Rossville won with a score of 46 at the Hoosier Heartland Conference meet held at Jackson Morrow Park. Carroll was second at 59 points and Eastern was third at 60. Taylor and Tri-Central were incomplete. The course was estimated by coaches to be approximately 120 meters short of a full 5K.
Brayden Richmond led Eastern, taking second overall (16:11). Caleb Vogl was fifth (17:25), Owen Taylor was 10th (18:16), Porter Brovont was 17th (18:37), and J.T. Webster in 32nd (19:56). The top 14 runners were named to the all-conference squad.
“We knew it was going to be a really close race with Carroll and Clinton Prairie ahead of time,” Eastern coach Ben Cox said. CP was third with a score of 62. “We wanted to try to get in there and beat Carroll. The guys really went for it. Credit to Carroll for being ahead of us. We’ll see them again next week and have another shot. They really did a nice job.”
Maconaquah finished in fourth place with 122 points. Peru finished in seventh place with 164 points, and Wabash was the winner with a total of 38 points.
The Braves were led by Sam Bourne with a 10th-place finish (17:34). Dalton Farnell was next in 26th place (19:03). Kolson Silcox took 30th place (19:17). Feenix Kile placed 37th (19:42); and Blake Kinney was 39th (19:43.60).
Alex Legg led Peru with a 15th-place finish in 18:16. Jacob Black was next with a 25th-place finish (19:02). Aiden Stewart came in 50th (20:11). Brody Wright took 53rd place (21:13), and Alex Smithers was 68th (22:37).
“We have great kids that come out and put all their hearts into racing,” Peru coach Chris Butte said.
TAYLOR 5, MISSISSINEWA 2
Taylor (8-6-2) scored two goals in the first half and three goals in the second half, including the winning goal as the Titans were celebrating senior day.
Sydnie Boley scored a hat trick. With those three goals, Boley tied the single-season goal scoring record with 17 for the Titans.
Alison Pemberton and Fallon Shane each added a goal. Brooke McGuire and Lynzey Butzin each had an assist. Mady Delgado had seven saves.
TC 7, N. MIAMI 2
The Trojans got hat tricks from Lily Stogdill and Peighton Oliver, and Abby Hoback added a goal in a victory at North Miami. Brittany Temple, Saydie Wyrick, Hoback, Stogdill and Oliver each had assists.
North Miami got up 1-0 and 2-1 before Tri-Central took a 3-2 lead into halftime.
“Then second half we came out and played more like we need to play heading into sectionals,” TC coach David Mast said. “We were moving the ball a lot better, we got the ball out wide. We’re finally starting to figure out ‘hey if we take the ball wide it opens the middle back up.’”
N. MIAMI 1, TAYLOR 0
Goalie Owen Shimer had 10 saves for the Titans, who finished 1-14 in the regular season. Sectional play begins next week.
“[Saturday] was one of those fun games to be in. There was a lot of back and forth action,” Taylor coach Kirk Wiley said. “We had several really good chances in the first half to score, just couldn’t quite get it in the back of the net.
“It was senior day. I was real proud of the way my guys played, especially the seniors. Wish we could have gotten the win for them or at least a tie. Overall, we played well, we just couldn’t get that break we needed to get the ball in the back of the net.”