HALL OF FAME
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
VIKINGS SWEEP BLUFFTON IN SEASON OPENER
August 21, 2013Huntington North High School
VIKINGS SWEEP BLUFFTON IN SEASON OPENER
Justin Shockey email@example.com | Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Huntington North High School volleyball team opened its fall season in dominating fashion against visiting Bluffton on Monday night.
The Vikings started the week off properly with a three-set win against Bluffton after taking the first set 25-20 and the second and third sets 25-15.
“I got what I expected out of the girls because I figured they would be a little nervous coming out at home in the first game like this,” head coach Jessica Fuller said. “However, after a few rallies we got right into it and they started playing like I remember them playing. It was an obvious first game because we had some communication errors and some silly errors but it’s a normal first game and we’ll build from that.”
The Vikings got things going slowly in the first set after falling 11-5 at one point . However the Vikings climbed back to lead 14-13 at during the sets halfway point and never looked back from there. Eventually the Vikings maintained the lead to 17-16 before Viking senior middle hitter Jessie Drew took the game over with three back-to-back points from two blocks and a kill.
“Jessie was great and she always brings a lot of energy to the court,” Fuller said. “She’s going to be tough to stop and that’s just inevitable. That’s how we’re used to seeing her play and we want her to play at that level or beyond it to get better every game.”
With the score at 20-16, the Vikings went on a 5-4 run to close out the first set with the win.
In the second set the Vikings came from beyond early on to take an 8-7 lead. Viking senior outside hitter Emiley Gray then helped the Vikings gain a four-point lead with two blocks back into the Bluffton court.
“Emiley is like the silent killer because she’s so small and everyone thinks they’re just going to block her but can do the same things they can,” said Fuller. “She’s fire up and she’ll go after what she wants. Her passing has just become tremendous this year which is helping us out a lot.”
Following the blocks, the Bluffton front line was unable to maintain their composure before committing three back-to-back errors to give the Vikings a 13-9 advantage heading into the midway portion of the set. The Vikings then took advantage of some more Bluffton mental mistakes in order to jump out to a 16-11 lead heading into the ending half of the set.
Leading by five with just nine points to go, the Vikings went on a 9-4 run to end the set in dominating fashion.
In the third and final set, the Vikings earned the lead following a first-point penalty before never giving it up again. The Vikings went on a 9-6 run to get into double digits before giving up three points on a net violation, a blocked shot and another net violation. After Bluffton closed the deficit to within one at 11-10 following an out of bounds ball from the Vikings, Huntington North senior middle hitter Josie Beaver took control of the net with two kills and one block.
“Josie is one of our key front row players this year,” Fuller said. “We’re looking for a lot of blocks and a lot of kills out of her this season.”
The effort from Beaver launched the Vikings into a 14-11 lead before completely shutting out Bluffton throughout the remainder of the game. The Vikings gave up just four more points off out of bounds hits during the final stages of the victory. Making up for those out of bounds hits came the nine points needed to take sweep the series.
The Vikings will move onto their next home game against powerhouse Carroll on Wednesday.
“Playing any team this early in the season is going to get us ready for the next opponent,” Fuller said. “We just need to take into consideration that Carroll is probably going to be a lot quicker and tougher than anything we’ve seen this year.”
In junior varsity action, the Vikings defeated Bluffton in straight sets, 25-8 and 25-13.