The Southwood volleyball team traveled to Bremen Saturday for the 2A volleyball semi state with the task of taking on #7 Adams Central in the opening round. Hammond Bishop Noll, a state finalist last year waited on the winner after sweeping perennial power Muncie Burris in game one.
The Lady Knights would look good early as they grabbed a 9-7 lead when Adams Central scored three straight to grab a 9-10 lead. The Knights would hang tough though, getting kills from Sarah Peters and Bailey Hobbs and eventually took the lead back 17-16 off a Bailey Lundmark block. The Flying Jets would then grab control, scoring 7 of the next 8 points to lead the Knights 18-22 in route to a 20-25 win.
Southwood would regroup and came out swinging in game two, getting kills from Sarah Peters, Kaitlyn Murphy and Bailey Lundmark to grab a 5-3 lead. Tied at 5 Bailey Hobbs would get a kill and an ace as the Knights scored 5 of the next 7 to lead 14-9. Adams Central would claw their way back and after a 5 point run led 19-20 as an 0-2 score was starring the Knights in the face. With things looking bleak Southwood found one last breath. Down 21-23 Kaitlyn Murphy would get a kill during a 3 point run as the Knights grabbed a 24-23 lead with the Flying Jets answering to knot the score at 24. Murphy would then record another kill with Anna Rees serving an ace and just like that the Knights pulled off game two 26-24 and tied the match 1-1.
After falling behind 2-3 in game three the Knights started to take control as setter Sami White fed Emilie Harnish and Bailey Lundmark, building the lead to 14-11. The Knights were cruising and led 23-16 when Adams Central found a 4 point run to cut the lead to 23-20, but kills from Sarah Peters and Kaitlyn Murphy won game three 25-20 and just like that the Knights went from trailing 0-1 to being a game away with a match up with Noll.
Southwood led 5-4 in game four when the Flying Jets scored 4 straight to lead 5-8 and held the lead until 14-15 when Southwood took off. Emilie Harnish slammed a kill that started a 6-1 run to give Southwood a 20-16 lead. Harnish had 2 kills and an ace during the run with Bailey Lundmark getting two kills. South Adams would regroup and had the Southwood lead cut to 22-21 when Sarah Peters killed to stop the run and give the Knights a 23-21 lead. Kaitlyn Murphy would then make it 24-21 with a kill to set up match point when Bailey Hobbs blocked a Flying Jet kill shot to win game four 25-21 and the match 3-1.
After defeating Adams Central the VolleyKnights then had the task of taking on Hammond Bishop Noll who was in the state championship game last year and still had plenty of fire power coming back from that team.
The Knights shocked Noll coming out of the gate, grabbing a 6-0 lead with Sami White serving. Sarah Peters had a block and a kill during the fast start. As good teams do, Noll gathered themselves and started their comecack with a 5-0 run and scored 8 of the next 10 points to tie the score at 8. The Knights would go to Emilie Harnish and Kaitlyn Murphy to take a 12-10 lead when Noll scored 6 straight and 9 of the next 10 to lead Southwood 13-19. Down 16-23 Emilie Harnish would get two kills along with an ace from Bailey Hobbs to cut the lead to 19-23, but Noll scored the last two to win game one 19-25.
A Tom Finicle team will never back down and although seeming to be out gunned, showed grit in game two. Trailing 0-2 the Knights would get a block from Bailey Hobbs and a kill from Sarah Peters to score 4 straight and led 4-2. Noll would come back to grab a 7-8 lead when the Knights took advantage of a few Noll errors and it was game on with Southwood leading 10-8. Tied at 12, once again Noll would run, scoring 4 straight to go up 12-16. Two Murphy kills made it 16-17 when Noll flexed their muscle. The Warriors would score 7 of the next 9 points to lead 18-23. The Knights would then get a kill from Lundmark and Peters to make it 20-23, but a Noll kill made it game point at 20-24. It was gut check time for the Knights and oh what guts they had. Sarah Peters would get the Knights going with a kill that was followed by a Warrior error and a Delayne Gentry ace to make it 23-24, forcing a Noll time out. Coming out of the time out another Noll error tied the score at 24 when Murphy gave Southwood a 25-24 lead with a kill. Tied at 25, Noll would serve the ball out of bounds, then get called for a carry to give Southwood a 27-25 win and the tide was turning.
In game three the Knights led early on the backs of Murphy and Peters, but the Warriors found hard hitter Carly Cappello numerous times as they gradually built their lead to 18-22. The Knights would have one more run during game three, scoring 4 straight with Bailey Lundmark getting a kill to tie the score at 22, but Cappello was to much as Noll won game three 23-25 and led 1-2.
Although Noll won game three and led 1-2, one could sense they were starting to tire. With the game tied at 6 the Knights started to show their endurance. Emilie Harnish would get a kill that started a 4-0 run to grab a 10-6 lead and built the lead to 12-7. Noll cut the lead to 12-10 but the Knights were determined to see a game 5. Feeding Harnish and Murphy, plus taking advantage of Noll errors the Knights would use a 7-0 run on their way to a 25-16 win and force a game five for the right to play for a state championship.
Noll would grab a 2-4 lead on 3 quick kills but their punches were not as hard and the Knights knew it. Going to Emilie Harnish and forcing errors the Knights would score 8 of the next 12 points to open a 10-8 lead. Noll would answer though, going on a 1-4 run and taking a 11-12 lead, but again it was Harnish with a kill.After a Noll carry and a 4 hit call Southwood led 14-13 and had game point when their block went out of bounds to tie the score at 14. With Noll serving, a good reception led to Sami White setting up Emilie Harnish for a kill and a 15-14 lead. On the serve the Knight defense answered once more with White finding Sarah Peters who hammered home the winner for a 16-14 win and a trip to the state championship game next Saturday at Ball State.
The next task for the VolleyKnights is #1 and defending state champion Providence for the state title, but Cinderella is alive !!!!