Highland wrapped up a 14-0 record in Knox Morrow Athletic Conference play on Thursday night, defeating Northmor by scores of 25-14, 25-7 and 25-8 on their senior night.
“This is just a great senior class for us,” said Terrill of Lillee Keltner, Savanna Whisman, Raina Terry, Darcie Walters and Gena West. “We have a lot of depth there at a lot of positions.”
Against the Golden Knights, Highland won with strong serving and hitting, preventing Northmor from setting up their offense.
“We weren’t able to set up our offense because we were not able to serve receive,” said Golden Knight coach Kara Wright. “They do a good job of that and Raina is Raina. She hits the ball hard and down.”
In the first game, the Scots went on multiple scoring runs to take a commanding lead. Brilynn Tuggle tallied five straight points, as did Terry, before Abby Eusey scored six in a row to give the team a 22-7 lead. Northmor attempted to rally, getting two points from Megan Adkins and three from Macy Miracle, as they closed within a 23-14 margin.
However, a defensive point followed by a scoring serve from Ashlynn Belcher put an end to Northmor’s comeback hopes and gave the Scots the first game.
In the second, Highland jumped out to a big lead behind five points from Makenna Belcher, three from Ashlynn Belcher and two from Walters. Lexi Wenger scored once for Northmor to bring them within a 12-4 margin, but that would be their only offensive point of the set. Three points by Terry, one each from Keltner and West and four from Makenna Belcher, as well as a few defensive points, proved to be enough to carry them to a 25-7 win.
Northmor got off to a good start in the third set, getting two points from Macy Miracle and a defensive point to lead 3-1 early. Unfortunately for the Golden Knights, they wouldn’t be able to build on that start. Two points from Terry and four from Kendall Stover helped the team jump out to a 16-8 lead and Ashlynn Belcher put the finishing touches on the set and match by scoring nine straight points.
Northmor got four blocks and two kills by Leslie Brubaker, while Julianne Kincaid had two blocks and four kills. Miracle added 10 assists and three aces, Adkins had two kills and an ace, Reagan Swihart tallied two kills and Abby Donner finished with 10 digs for the 11-11, 8-6 team.
For Highland, who now has a 97-match league winning streak and have been 291-4 in sets over that time, Terry had 15 kills and six aces. Stover finished with 10 kills, while Makenna Belcher added eight. Ashlynn Belcher tallied four aces and Tuggle contributed three. Also, Gena West recorded three kills and as many blocks.
Now, both teams will take part in the tournament. Northmor will play in Division IV after moving down from Division III, where they advanced to regionals last year. They’ll open Thursday with a third game against league rival Danville, whom they’ve beaten twice this year.
“It’s new,” said Wright. “Madison Plains, Newark Catholic, us and East Knox all moved to Division IV, so we know some schools, but a lot are new. We have to step up and be ready to play every point.”
Competing in Division II, Terrill is pleased with his team’s draw, as they’ll immediately start against a quality team in eighth-seeded River Valley.
“That was my goal,” said the coach. “Playing River Valley will be a test for us. We need to keep working at that tempo and playing competitive teams like River Valley and (potential second round opponent) Bexley will help us. We have to show up every day. We have no gimmes.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS