The Southwood volleyball team hosted Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers for the regional title Tuesday night. Luers came in with one of the tallest front lines around with middle hitters at 6’3” and 6’1”. The Lady Knights went right at the taller defense, hitting through and around them for a 25-19, 25-14, 29-31, 25-13 victory and a trip to the Bremen semi-state Saturday. Southwood will play Madison-Grant(33-2) at 11:00. Fairfield (32-4) and Winamac (32-4) play in the second game. The championship game is at 5:00.
In game one Southwood went out to the early lead, stretching it to 5-2 behind two Celeste McCormick kills. Luers would hang close and actually take the lead at 8-7 and take it to 10-7. The Lady Knights rallied back and tied the score at 10 with a Kristen Murphy block. After a Mindy Metz ace had them up 12-11 Southwood found a small run their known for. Two kills from Meagan Chittick and Southwood was up 17-11. Up 18-12 Abby Harness took over with four kills down the stretch for a 25-19 win.
In game two the Lady Knights came out hitting on all pistons. Two aces from Meghan Binkerd, plus a kill from McCormick and a kill and a tip from Chittick and Southwood was up 6-2. Then came the run. Up 7-4, Southwood went on a 6-0 run to go up 13-4. Harness and Murphy had kills during the run and then had a double block for a point. Keeping the lead at six to seven points there was one more run. Leading 20-14 the Lady Knights went on a 5-0 run to end the game. Metz had two kills and McCormick one during the last run, 25-14.
Game three was do or die for Luers. The visiting Lady Knights came out swinging and took the lead from 4-3 and stretched it to 13-6. Southwood just could not break the Luers momentum and the lead went to 19-12. At 20-15 Southwood found a second wind. Kills from Murphy and Chittick and an ace from Abby Kirk and the Luers lead was 20-18. After two McCormick kills Luers went up 23-20 forcing Southwood to take a time out. Coming out of the time out Harness recorded a kill and then one from Murphy to make it 23-22. Luers was called for being over the net on the next play and it was all tied at 23. Metz had a tip to put Southwood up 24-23 before Luers would tie it. Tied at 24 there were six ties before Luers had a block and a kill to win gane three 31-29.
Game three seem to ignite a spark in game four for Southwood. This time their run started right from the very beginning, taking an 8-1 lead. It was a run of pure offense. Binkerd had a tip, followed by a McCormick kill, then a double block from Harness and McCormick, follwoed by two aces from Kirk, a kill from Chittick and a tip from Harness. The lead would be to much for Luers to come back from as the Knights were determined not to see a game five. The closest Luers would get was 14-9 before the Southwood offense would kick in again. Up 16-11 they pushed it to 19-11 behind Binkerd and McCormick. Then at 19-12 it went to 23-12. This time it was Metz and Rachael Bridegroom. McCormick would have a kill to make it 24-13 and them Murphy would block the 6’3” Ave Stout to end the game, 25-13
Katelyn Smith 4 digs
Meghan Binkerd 13 service points, 6 aces, 9 kills, 5 digs, 43 assists, 2 blocks
Kristen Murphy 3 kills, 4 blocks
Rachael Bridegroom 9 service points, 8 digs
Mindy Metz 9 service points, 3 aces, 9 kills, 13 digs
Celeste McCormick 11 service points, 2 aces, 13 kills, 2 blocks, 1 dig
Abby Harness 11 kills, 2 blocks
Abby Kirk 11 service points, 3 aces, 35 digs, 1 assist
Meagan Chittick 10 kills, 3 digs