“Against Muncie Central we were ahead 5 points late in the first game and didn’t close it out. Our serve receive mistakes in games 2 and 3 cost us. ... The first game against Muncie Central we played well and did what we needed to do to have a chance to win.”
The Berries have a busy week this week, as they travel to Lafayette Jeff on Monday before hosting Maconaquah Wednesday and Marion Thursday before competing in the Clinton Central Round Robin on Saturday.
“Hopefully we string some wins together and start a push towards sectional play. In conference play we have a shot at beating a lot of teams and being one of the top teams in the conference,” Jon Vernon said.
Class A No. 7 Pioneer placed third at the event in the Fort Wayne area.
The Panthers opened the day with wins over Central Noble (25-11, 25-21) and Lakewood Park Christian (25-15, 25-19). They advanced to the gold medal round, where the lost to DeKalb (25-20, 26-24) and Leo (25-16, 24-26, 15-7).
Leo defeated DeKalb for the championship.
For the Panthers (12-6), Riley Morris had 55 assists and 15 digs on the day. Kayte Miller posted eight kills, nine aces and 30 digs.
Megan Smith collected 48 digs. Sarah Dorris had 29 kills, five aces, 32 digs and five blocks. Hannah Tevis had 26 kills, 12 digs and seven blocks. Shelby Roller collected 32 assists and 14 digs. Jessica Lawrence added four kills, four digs and two blocks. Lyndsey Steward floored 15 kills and three blocks. Madison Kiser added six kills and five blocks.
“All in all I was really pretty pleased,” Pioneer coach Rod Nies said. “We went 2-2, but the level of play we saw even with Central Noble and Lakewood Park Christian were really good, solid teams. LPC is a possible tournament opponent if we make it to semistate. They’ve got a real solid team and we played really well against them. DeKalb is a good-sized 4A school and we had a chance to beat them. We couldn’t find a way to put them away at the end of the two sets. We had a 4 or 5 point lead in the first set and then a 7 or 8 point lead in the second set and we lost that one as well. We need to work on finishing games. Against Leo, they just have a really nice program there. They’re a very good 3A team.”