Behind 18 kills from Lauryn Gillis, New Castle, the top-ranked team in 4A, picked up a decisive victory against North Central Conference power Central 25-16, 26-24, 25-15. Ciara Leath chipped in six kills and eight digs for the Trojans, and Jaydn’ Pegues accrued 18 kills in the loss, the regular season finale for both teams.
This marks the first NCC title for the Trojans since 2006, and in the eyes of first-year New Castle coach Randy Gardner, the win carried extra meaning because of the Bearcats’ previous stranglehold on conference supremacy.
“Central has owned the conference; they’ve won almost every championship possible,” Gardner said. “We came to play tonight and it’s good to come out and treat them like they’re the champs.And we came out, played well from the start. We had a little lapse in the middle but finished strong.”
The Trojans (31-2) edged Central (23-9) in kills 41-33 and built a wall at the net with seven blocks, 2.5 from Gillis. At night’s end, Bearcats coach Wes Lyon came away more than impressed.
“I thought they were really on all cylinders,” said Lyon, whose team is ranked sixth in Class 3A. “They just pursue the ball so well. They don’t lose a lot of points, don’t make a lot of errors.”
Yorktown beats Burris
The Class 3A top-ranked Yorktown volleyball team picked up a clean sweep of 2A No. 10 Burris by a score of 25-19 25-15 25-13. The Tigers got 12 kills from Nikki Box and four kills, four aces, eight digs and 33 assists from Taylor Zwickl.
The win moves Yorktown to 28-3 on the season. The Tigers close out the regular season Saturday at Shelbyville in a match that will determine the Hoosier Heritage Conference championship.
“I thought we did a nice job with serving pressure,” Yorktown coach Stephanie Bloom said. “Then once we really got our serves going, we did a nice job with some defensive pressure and keeping the ball alive and being aggressive.”
The Tigers finished the night with six aces and 41 kills.
Burris finished its regular season with a 17-16 record. Hannah Brinkman totaled five kills and 14 digs for the Owls.
Wapahani takes care of Delta
Class 2A No. 1 Wapahani picked up a tightly-contested sweep against 3A No. 10 Delta, taking the three sets by a combined seven points 25-22, 26-24, 25-23.
Wapahani’s Aubreigh Applegate had 11 kills and 14 digs and Lindi Thomas chipped in 10 kills. The Raiders had 18 blocks with Courtney Masters totaling eight. The Raiders (25-3) play Saturday at Bellmont.
The Eagles got 10 kills from Marissa Elam and eight more from Taylor Wright. Delta (17-12) will play Yorktown in the Southside Sectional opener on Thursday.
Cowan sweeps Southside
Class A No. 3 Cowan swept Southside 25-12, 25-11, 25-17. Mahliah Flick led a balanced Cowan attack with seven kills. Valorie Flick topped the Blackhawks in digs with 19. Cowan setter Madisen Mangus totaled 27 assists. The Blackhawks (18-8) close out their regular season at home Monday against Union.
Wes-Del loses in 3
Class 2A No. 3 Madison-Grant swept Class A No. 6 Wes-Del 25-15, 25-21, 25-16.The host Warriors totaled 64 digs. Libero Natalie Heaton led the way with 14. Setter Kennedy Petro followed with nine. Mariah Berry topped a balanced Wes-Del attack in kills with six. Wes-Del (18-11) closes out the regular season Saturday at the Bellmont Invitational.
Winchester downs Hagerstown
Winchester swept Hagerstown 25-18, 25-8, 25-17 to close out its regular season. Delaney Miller had 22 kills and Payton Smiley added 11 with three blocks and three aces for the Falcons.