Sep. 29—Eastern's volleyball team clinched at least a share of its fourth straight Hoosier Heartland Conference title Tuesday by beating Clinton Prairie on the Gophers' floor. The final scoreline was 25-10, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20.
The Comets improved to 7-0 in the HHC with one match remaining, and dealt the Gophers their first conference loss.
"The girls knew going into [the match] Prairie had a good team. Our girls came to play and did not give up," Eastern coach Missy Mavrick said.
The Comets (17-8 overall) showed nice balance in their attack with Kate Harrison flooring 13 kills, Trista Rice slamming 11 kills and Jenna Odle adding 10. Emma Sandlin provided the setting and finished with 33 assists. Odle led the serving with 13 points and Harrison and Makenna Titus had 10 points apiece.
"I challenged Trista Rice to stay aggressive with her swing and her and Kate did a great job of that. Emma did a great job of spreading the ball out and keeping Prairie on their toes," Mavrick said.
Defensively, Odle was a force with seven blocks. Sandlin had 15 digs, Harrison had 14, Titus had 13 and Rice had 10. Titus had 19 serve receptions, Harrison and Rice had 12 apiece and Shelby Rice had 11.
"Jenna Odle did an outstanding job on Sydney Swan, their leading hitter," Mavrick said. "Our defense came in prepared as well, Makenna and Shelby came up with some big digs for us."
Prairie dropped to 4-1 in the HHC.
NW 3, WESTERN 0
Northwestern overpowered Western 3-0 (25-9, 25-13, 25-18) to improve to 18-0 overall and finish Hoosier Conference East Division play 3-0.
The conference tournament is Saturday at Benton Central. The Tigers are the No. 2 seed. Fellow East Division team Hamilton Heights (13-4, 3-0) is the No. 1 seed. Northwestern and Heights did not meet in division play with their scheduled game canceled because of COVID issues.
McKenna Layden slammed 12 kills and Bela Andreassa floored eight kills to highlight the Tigers' attack. Ella Byrum fueled the offense with 25 assists. Morgan Walker served a team-high 16 points, Ella Byrum had 12 points and Eliza Byrum had 10 points. Defensively, Tori Closson had 15 digs, Layden had three blocks and eight digs and Ella Byrum also had eight digs.
For Western, Kenzie Broman and Mackenzie Collins had four kills apiece and Kieli Fogg had 15 assists. Linsay Guge contributed 14 digs and three kills.
Western is the No. 8 seed in the 10-team tourney. The Panthers are matched against Rensselaer in the opening round with the winner advancing to face Hamilton Heights in the quarterfinal round. Northwestern will face the Twin Lakes-Cass winner.
MAC 3, WHITKO 0
Maconaquah rolled past visiting Whitko for a 3-0 win in Three Rivers Conference play. The final scoreline was 25-14, 25-16, 25-19.
Taylor Roesler floored 17 kills to lead the Braves' attack. Lilly Maple backed her with six kills. Averi Miller dished 25 assists. The trio combined for nine service aces. Defensively, Maple had 21 digs and nine serve receptions and Miller had 11 digs.
Mac coach Jessica Metcalf said the Braves "played all-around good volleyball. They had a combined three missed serves on the night and stayed very aggressive at the net."
HARRISON 3, KOKOMO 0
The Raiders overpowered the Kats for a 3-0 win (25-11, 25-15, 25-12).
Abby Hansen had four kills for Kokomo. Jada Claire Broomfield had three kills and 11 digs. Mia Federspill had eight assists and nine digs. Jalynn Warden had six digs.
NW 1, MCCUTCHEON 1
The Tigers equalized in the final minute of the game. Kai Jackson scored on a glancing header to redirect Ale Andrade's corner kick and level the game with 25 seconds left.
"Amazing finish," NW coach Aaron Longgood said. "Loved seeing the boys get rewarded for their quality defensive work all game, and to see them celebrate together was a joy to see."
Longgood praised Northwestern's defensive effort.
"The guys were hard to break down and that's all credit to everyone giving great effort off the ball," he said. "Zach VanOsdell and Weston Hearn both played exceptionally well. Eli Edwards also had a great night in goal."
Northwestern (11-2-2) hosts Logansport on Thursday to close the regular season.
CARROLL 4, LOGAN 4
Down 3-2 at halftime, Carroll battled back for a 4-4 draw against visiting Logansport.
Owen Duff led the Cougars (11-2-2) with two goals and an assist. Noah Falkenberg had one goal and one assist, Mason Salts also scored and Eli Falkenberg had an assist.
Carroll visits Wabash on Thursday to close the regular season.