The Northmor volleyball team saw its season end in the sectional finals at the hands of visiting Northridge by scores of 19-25, 22-25 and 23-25.
The Lady Golden Knights were in all three sets, but just couldn’t convert enough opportunities down the stretch in dropping a hard-fought match.
“We made some errors we haven’t seen all season, which was kind of tough to see, but we were getting the most amount of blocks,” said head coach Shelbie Wiseman. “We were getting some great touches on balls, but we just didn’t execute in the beginning.”
After the first set was evenly contested in the early going, Northridge broke a 10-10 tie behind three points by Laney Higgins and Northmor would not be able to make up that deficit in falling 25-19.
The Golden Knights were able to put more points on the board offensively in the second set, getting two each from Allison Sheriff and Mary Dean and three from Makayla Sutton in taking a 12-9 lead. However, they would then give up a defensive points and six straight to the serving of Naia Moore to find themselves facing a deficit.
“As a young team, we have to work on stopping the runs early at one or two and not eight or nine,” said Wiseman. “We’re going to move forward from here. We had a lot of communication errors today and a lot of errors we haven’t seen all season, which was kind of frustrating in a big game like this. But that was a scrappy team that kept a lot of hard hit balls that would normally fall for us up, so I think we weren’t really sure what to do with that.”
While Northmor was able to bounce back from that run to get one point from Jillian Zeger and two each from Lizzie Erlsten and Dean, they would not be able to quite catch up to their opponents. Dean’s points made it a 22-21 contest in favor of the Vikings, but Northridge would respond to close out the set.
The Golden Knights jumped out to a quick start in the third behind one point by Erlsten, three from Sheriff and two from Kallie Wright, but Northridge would use a four-point run by Taryn Eblin to turn a 9-4 lead into a tighter 10-8 game. Tristen Orahood added a pair of points to help the Vikings knot things up at 11 and the teams remained deadlocked throughout the rest of the contest.
Trailing 16-15, Northmor got two points from Wright, Sutton and Zeger to jump in front 23-21, but Northridge was able to regain the serve on a defensive point and then close out the match on three straight scoring serves from Madison Miller to end Northmor’s season.
While disappointed in how it ended, Wiseman was pleased with her team’s season. She noted that with a young team, she sees a bright future ahead for the program.
“We’re really excited moving forward,” she said. “The girls have the drive and the want to be here. We are young. We’ll return everyone except our three seniors (Sheriff, Mia Marshall and Maggie Brewer), so we’re ready to go for next year.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS