ELWOOD — Many people that follow Madison County volleyball expected that Madison-Grant and Pendleton Heights would square off in the championship game Saturday afternoon, but some may not have predicted the Argylls would walk away with their third straight county title.
The Arabians had knocked off Madison-Grant 3-0 on Aug. 22. So it seemed reasonable they might be able to strip the Argylls of their Madison County volleyball supremacy.
That assumption couldn’t have been further from the truth as Madison-Grant snagged a 2-0 win in the title match.
In the first set, Madison-Grant led 2-0 and trailed just once as it won a 25-21 decision and led by as many as four points on two different occasions. The Argylls fell behind 3-1 to the Arabians in the second set before posting a 25-18 win for the Madison County championship.
Argylls coach Bob Holloway said he never brought up the subject of avenging the team's earlier loss to Pendleton Heights in any of his pregame speeches.
“Not really because you don’t have time," he said. "We had a big (first match) with Alexandria, and that’s all we basically talked about yesterday. So there was no focus at all about Pendleton. You just don’t really have time.”
Holloway said his girls are young and tend to get uptight. So he had no intention of cluttering their minds with anything other than the match in front of them.
Madison-Grant’s Jessica Hull seemed to be all over the court with 12 kills on the front row and solid serving and back-row play.
“I think Jessica Hull played great,” said Holloway. “Whenever we needed a point, she came through. For our team to be successful that’s what she should do because she’s a senior, she’s been through this. Everybody looks at her — she is our best player. She needs to play like she’s our best player. She can play really well.”
Holloway also said he was pleased with the serving of Madison Snyder, Kayla Martin, Kristin Wilson and Kayla Bair. He felt the placement of their serves was crucial to his team’s success.
The Argylls' coach also gave props to freshman setter Kenzie Stitt and her play of late.
Pendleton Heights coach Stefanie Ammirata said the biggest difference between the Arabians' win over Madison-Grant and Saturday’s loss was a lack of discipline by her team.
“I think some of my players just weren’t making the adjustments we asked them to,” she said. “We knew what was coming, and some of them just weren’t disciplined enough to make those adjustments that were necessary. You (can) tell a team they lost last time to us so they want to win. We will have to want to win more. Sometimes it just doesn’t register.”
Ammirata said the Arabians have a rough couple weeks ahead of them with ranked opponents, and she is hoping this loss will motivate her team going forward.
Saturday's Scores First Round Elwood def. Liberty Christian 25-18, 25-10 Second Round Elwood def. Anderson 25-14, 25-19 Madison-Grant def. Alexandria 31-29, 25-18 Pendleton Heights def. Anderson Prep 25-14, 25-5 Lapel def. Frankton 25-22, 25-23 Semifinals Madison-Grant def. Elwood 25-18, 25-20 Pendleton Heights def. Lapel 26-24, 25-14 Championship Madison-Grant def. Pendleton Heights 25-21, 25-18