Cardington placed second in the school’s eight team volleyball tournament on Saturday.
The Pirates opened with a hard-fought 25-23, 28-26 win over Lucas, before defeating Elgin 25-18, 25-19 in the semifinals.
In the championship round, the team played Johnstown — who also was their opponent in the championship last year.
Unfortunately for Cardington, for the second straight year, they fell to the Johnnies. After being edged 25-21 in the first game, they struggled in the early going of the second and fell 25-15.
“To get a mixture of three returning letter-winners and six who haven’t played varsity is a big step to take,” said Pirate head coach Ryan Treese. “The connection is lacking as of right now.”
With a young team that includes four freshmen among its regular rotation, Treese saw his team go through ups and downs in the tournament, noting that unforced errors played a big role in the contest with Lucas being so closely contested.
Against the Johnnies, the team got two points from Kyleigh Bonnette and two more from Hannah Wickline — their only senior — to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 7-5 lead. However, with the score tied at eight, their opponents were able to record aces on four consecutive serves to open up a lead they would not surrender the rest of the way.
Kayleigh Ufferman and Liz Long both had two-point trips to the service line, but Johnsville was able to score often enough to maintain a lead throughout the game.
The Johnnies then exploded out of the gate in the second game, getting at least one point on each of their first four service attempts to lead by an 11-4 margin. A defensive point, followed by four straight scored by Long, brought the Pirates within two. However, Johnstown quickly responded with a four straight points off their serve to re-establish a six-point lead. From there, they held the Cardington offense scoreless the rest of the way in earning the two-game sweep.
While winning the runner-up trophy wasn’t Treese’s goal going into the day, he did say that being able to give his young players three matches of varsity experience in one day could pay off as the season progresses.
“Having four freshmen on the court for three games is very good,” he said. “The pressure of playing consistently the entire day really challenged us.”
Northmor Golden Knights
Northmor’s volleyball team got off to a good start on Saturday, Aug. 17, as they picked up a pair of wins.
They defeated Clear Fork by scores of 25-18 and 25-16. In their second match of the day, they warned a 24-26, 25-16, 25-20 win over Lucas. The team moved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the KMAC on Thursday when they took on Centerburg and claimed a 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-12 win over the Trojans.
Macy Miracle finished with five aces, 16 digs and 38 assists; while Leslie Brubaker tallied five aces, 12 digs, two blocks and 20 kills. Abby Donner added 15 digs, Megan Adkins had two blocks, Julianne Kincaid finished with 12 kills and Lexi Wenger contributed six kills.
The Golden Knights suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday, when they dropped a non-league match to Lexington by scores of 25-23, 21-25, 23-25 and 21-25.
Miracle finished with 32 assists and 10 digs, while Brubaker added 14 kills, four aces and nine digs. Kincaid tallied 10 kills, while Adkins added six. Reagan Swihart had an ace and Donner contributed 15 digs.
The Highland volleyball team fell to 1-1 on Tuesday when they traveled to Division I St. Francis DeSales and were defeated 21-25, 25-20, 18-25, 12-25.
Raina Terry tallied 18 kills to lead the team, while Kendall Stover finished with eight kills, two aces and three blocks. Gena West had six kills and three blocks, Makenna Belcher contributed five kills and two aces and Darcie Walters added a pair of aces.
The Scots rebounded on Thursday, though, opening their league season with a 25-9, 25-6, 25-20 win at East Knox.
In the three-game win, the team got 20 kills from Terry, while Stover added 11 kills, 12 digs and four aces. Belcher picked up 10 kills and 11 digs and Walters had 13 kills and three aces. Also, Lillee Keltner finished with 30 assists.
Highland claimed a win in their first home match of the year by scores of 25-14, 26-24, 22-25, 25-19 over Big Walnut. Terry tallied 27 kills and four aces, while Stover finished with 14 kills and Belcher added 10. Keltner pieced up three aces and West tallied four blocks. Both the JV and freshman teams also won.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS