Friday, October 12, 2018 1:00 am
Tourney-tested Saints turn back pesky Hornets
Dan Vance | For The Journal Gazette
Experience was a visible difference Thursday as Bishop Dwenger opened its run at a third straight sectional volleyball title with a 3-0 win over Angola in the Class 3A sectional hosted by the Saints.
Despite taking the initial lead in each of the sets, Angola (27-6) fell to a senior-laden Bishop Dwenger (29-2) squad 25-12, 25-16, 25-16.
In the opening set, the Saints quickly bent momentum back in their direction when Kaley Lyons rose up to win a one-on-one battle at the net with Angola's Autumn Cockroft to make it 12-7. Lyons, the backup setter to Madi Ross, led Bishop Dwenger in many ways and had 30 assists with Ross sidelined with an ankle injury.
With the set in control, the Saints went up 22-10 when Taya Dazey and Delaney Hogan rose up to block Ashlyn Meyer.
In the second set, with Angola up 6-4, coach Lloy Ball called timeout to try to slow a Saints rally and Bishop Dwenger coach Tim Houser could be heard repeatedly telling his team “stay aggressive, stay aggressive.” The Saints followed their leader, pulling to within one on a Sarah McTague ace and taking the lead, 11-10, on a long hit by Angola's Cockroft.
“Obviously it is my system and I do coach it, but I give all the credit to them,” Houser said. “You can't let up in sectionals. We won by a large margin in that first set, but I knew they were going to come back and battle us.”
It was Dazey who helped put Angola away in the second. Her kills to advance the lead to 12-10 and 18-12 were two of the hardest hit balls of the match. Dazey led the Saints attack with nine kills. Dwenger ended the second set on a block from Madison Ellis and Lyons of Angola's Gabby McHugh.
Angola rallied to take the lead on a couple of occasions in the third, but each time the Saints seemed to have players all over the floor in shutting down the Hornets. Angola led 8-7 on a McHugh assist to Meyer for the soft touch. Bishop Dwenger fought back to take a 9-8 lead and never trailed again.
The Saints will now play Leo at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“We have a lot of seniors here, we want to play our last match in Muncie,” Houser said. “They refuse to lose. I didn't even call a timeout in that whole match because I believed that we never gave up big runs and they just find a way to get out of it.”
MISSISSINEWA 3, HERITAGE 2: At Ossian, Maggie Castleman had 26 kills, 26 digs and two blocks for the Patriots in a 23-25, 25-12, 25-21, 18-25, 15-13 loss in Class 3A.
EAST NOBLE 3, NORTHROP 1: At Kendallville, Madison Brooks had 13 kills and two blocks for the Bruins, but they lost 14-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-22 in Class 4A.