By Dave Pearce
It is every coach’s goal to have their respective team playing their best come tournament time. And going into the final week of the regular season, North Posey volleyball coach Natalie Barnard might have just that.
For the first time all year, the North Posey Vikings won both the matches they had last week, beating Princeton in an exciting 5-game thriller while handling Wood Memorial with a little less suspense.
Against Wood Memorial, the Lady Vikings came out and took care of business. While the Trojans have a couple of excellent hitters, the Viking defense kept the ball away from the big middle hitter and forced the ball to the outside hitters who, according to Barnard, were not having a good night.
The Vikings handled the Trojans by scores of 25-9, 25-21, and 25-14 as Ashley Schorr had six kills and Jordan Butler had three. Hannah Harness added one in the first game
In the second game, Schorr and Butler had two apiece while Tylie Robertson had two and Marlee Sims had one.
In the third and final game, Schorr came up big, nailing 16 kills while Butler had eight and Morrow and Robertson each had three and Mackenzie Morrow had two. Harness added one.
“Wood Memorial had a rough night but I think we took them out of their system,” Barnard said. “They had some pretty good hitters there in the front row. Their warm-ups were solid and I thought it was going to be much more challenging that what it ended up being. But you have to credit our blockers for taking away the part of the court they should have. Wood was trying to hit over our blocks and were hitting it out. It just wasn’t happening for them that night.”
But against Princeton, the Vikings started slow, losing the first game 25-23. But in the course of this season, this team has learned to battle back and that nothing is impossible. So they did just that, taking the second game before falling behind again and dropping the third.
In a must-win situation, the Vikings managed to take game four and force a fifth and deciding game five. That game went beyond the standard 15 points before the Vikings could finally wrap it up at 16-14.
“It was a close game throughout but for some reason, we just seemed like we were not ready to play at the beginning of this game,” Barnard said. “But in the fifth set, our girls were excited and motivated and wanted to win. We were actually wanting to win it the entire time but we just weren’t able to pull it all together until we had to.”
The Vikings were without the services of one of their top hitters in Ashley Schorr who was sick on the day of the Princeton match. But Marlee Sims and Jourdan Werry played the outside positions and according to their coach, both played extremely well.
“It was just a case of us trying to make it work and we were finally able to do it there in the fifth set,” Barnard said.
So how good were the two teams the Vikings were able to beat this week.
“Princeton was a very scrappy team,” Barnard said. “They had a really good middle that were just not able to stop.”
Barnard says she hopes last week’s wins are a sign that the girls may be starting to peak as tournament time rolls around. Ultimately, it is every team’s goal to do well in sectional play.
“It is obvious at this point that we are not going to have a great season in terms of wins and losses but we can look back on our wins and the games we played well and lost,” Barnard said. “I actually teared up after seeing how well we played against Tell City. I have never been so excited about a loss but I was just so happy with the way we played. They have Mackenzie Hayes on their team who no doubt is going to go Division I and our defense shut her down. We took them to four games and did not make it easy for them.”
The Vikings will face Mount Vernon tonight (Tuesday) in Mount Vernon without the services of their top setter in Eli Schapker who is out this week. On Thursday, the Vikings will host Gibson Southern on senior night.
By Dave Pearce
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