Cubs play Danville tough before falling 3-0

Monday, October 22, 2018
Lilly Meyer of Greencastle goes up to hit the ball against Danville on Saturday.
Banner Graphic/JOEY BENNETT

DANVILLE — Greencastle and Danville entered Saturday’s second semifinal match of the Danville Regional volleyball tournament both on 10-match winning streaks.

Both teams were making their second straight regional appearances, and Danville had won a regular-season match 3-1 a few weeks ago.

The Tiger Cubs held a 24-22 lead in the first set and were serving for match point, but Danville picked up the point for a sideout and served the final three points to pull off a 26-24 comeback win.

Greencastle couldn’t recover, and fell 3-0 to the Warriors to end their season at 24-7.

“The biggest struggle was putting everything together,” GHS coach Maggie Walters said. “We’d have a good pass, but then couldn’t execute on offense. Or, we’d get them out of system by serving and swinging aggressively, then our defense would have miscommunication.”

Anna Zellers of Greencastle keeps her eyes on the ball while making a serve against Danville on Saturday.
Banner Graphic/JOEY BENNETT

Walters didn’t think her team was able to play “its” game on the big stage.

“Playing in a regional game is a lot of pressure, and we struggled to just play our game,” she said “We let a strong Danville team control the pace of the game and dictate our decisions. They did a really good job of attacking our weaknesses.”

Danville controlled the second set early, taking leads of 6-2 and 12-4 before the Cubs made it closer.

Mackenzie Woodall took over the serve following a sideout at the 12-4 standpoint and served four straight points to cut the deficit to 12-9.

The Warriors pulled away to leads of 15-9 and 20-10, eventually recording a 25-12 victory.

Danville got off to a quick start in the final set, leading 3-0, 9-2 and 10-3.

Greencastle cut into the lead and came within 10-6, but Danville then scored six straight points for a 16-6 lead.

Greencastle’s Lilly Meyer took over the serve following a sideout that cut the Danville lead to 17-8, and served three straight points.

Woodall served five straight points to cut the Danville lead to 18-15, but the Warriors were not threatened after that point and picked up a 25-18 win to advance to Saturday night’s finals.

Allison Stevens led the Tiger Cubs with eight kills and two blocks, while Jada Amis had six kills and Meyer had 20 digs.

Jalyn Duff paced the team with 15 assists and added 12 digs, while Woodall had 11 digs and Anna Zellers added 10 digs.

The match was the final outing for Greencastle’s four seniors — Duff, Amis, Ivy Wright and Woodall.

“I want to give this group of seniors a ton of credit,” Walters said. “They set three goals at the beginning of the season — to win county, be in the top five of the conference, and win another sectional. They accomplished all three because they pushed themselves and their teammates every single day.”

Ivy Wright makes a dig against Danville on Saturday.
Banner Graphic/JOEY BENNETT

The Tiger Cubs were able to break a 15-year sectional drought last season, and repeated that title this year for the first time in school history since 1997-98.

“I never questioned their work ethic,” Walters said. “Things didn’t always go their way, but they never quit fighting. They always expected more of themselves.

“Amis, Duff, Wright and Woodall will be missed, but they have set the bar high for the future of the program,” Walters added. “They have a lot to be proud of.”

Northview, which had defeated Bishop Chatard 3-2 in the first semifinal match on Saturday, shut out Danville 3-0 to win the regional title.

The Knights (35-2) will meet Silver Creek (32-6) in the one-game semistate at Jasper on Saturday for a trip to the state finals.

Western Boone, which won the Monrovia Sectional last week, lost 3-1 to Hagerstown in the Heritage Christian Regional on Saturday.

No other Western Indiana Conference teams besides Greencastle and Northview won sectional titles.