By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ALEXANDRIA — Madison-Grant's Jessica Hull served up a Class 2A sectional volleyball championship Saturday night as the Argylls eliminated Alexandria in three games.
Hull, who had already been effective at the net as an outside hitter through the first two games, took the serve in Game 3 with the Argylls leading 8-7.
When she finished serving, Madison-Grant had a 16-7 lead, which all but settled the sectional outcome.
"Coach (Bob Holloway) had been telling us to work on being more consistent with our serves," said Hull. "But he had also been telling us to work on serving harder. I thought this would be a good time to break that out."
Was it ever.
Hull sent screaming, line-drive serves just centimeters over the net, and the Tigers were mostly powerless to return them. In fact, of the 10 serves she powered over the net, only three came back.
Much of the strategy for the Argylls in the title game was directed at Alexandria's hitter Allie Hueston. Much of it also was hidden. A couple of weeks ago the Tigers defeated the Argylls.
"When we lost to them, the (Central Indiana Conference) title wasn't at stake," said Holloway. "There were things we could have done differently. We wanted to move Hueston around. We wanted to move the ball from antenna to antenna. We wanted Hueston to have to make decisions."
Hueston still had 12 kills, with five tips and three stuff blocks.
The Argylls didn't have a big gun like Hueston to load and fire, but they had a collection of weapons to bring to the net. In the first game, Bethani Herniak and Ballie Havens joined Hull at the net as Madison-Grant rallied from 8-4 down for a 26-24 triumph.
Chloe Stitt joined the net brigade in Game 2 with a trio of kills in a 25-21 win. Her kills also accounted for four of the Argylls' final five points in the title-clincher.
"This match we served a lot better than when we played them the second time," said Holloway.
The teams' first meeting was in the Madison County Tournament, and the Argylls won that match as well.
Now Madison-Grant will host the regional Tuesday and will face the Muncie Burris Owls. Burris defeated Winchester 25-16, 25-16, 25-17 on Saturday to win the Winchester Sectional title.
"At this point, you just go into it and play whoever is there," said Holloway. "The last two years we had to face Wapahani. This is a very good Muncie Burris team."
The match will start at 7 p.m.
Tuesday's winner will advance to Saturday's semistate at Bremen at 11 a.m. against either North Judson or Bishop Noll.