Pendleton Heights gets 30th win in sectional opener

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For the fourth straight year, Pendleton Heights won the Madison County volleyball title. The Arabians won the tournament's championship match Saturday at Elwood High School. Submitted

YORKTOWN — Pendleton Heights’ 11th straight win and 30th of the season has boosted the girls volleyball team to the semifinal round of Class 4A Sectional 9, held at Yorktown High School.

The Arabians defeated Greenfield-Central 3-0 in an opening round match on Tuesday. PHHS won by set scores of 25-13, 25-12, 25-11.

Pendleton Heights will take on Mt. Vernon (23-6) in the first of two semifinal contests Saturday at 10 a.m. Mt. Vernon is one of the three teams that have beaten the Arabians this season. The Marauders won 3-1 in Fortville on Aug. 26.

Tuesday’s win over the Cougars was the second over the Hoosier Heritage Conference rival this season. PH won 3-0 in a regular season match in Pendleton on Sept. 30. It was also the third straight year the two teams have drawn each other as first-round opponents. Pendleton Heights has won two of the three opening round decisions. Greenfield-Central won last year’s first-round matchup.

In Tuesday’s first set, the Arabians went on a 6-0 run to take an 11-4 lead and break open a close set. Senior Avery Ross had two kills during the spurt. Gaby Ennis had one and Ennis and Whitney Warfel combined for a block.

Five different players had first-set kills with Ross and Ennis each having three each. Ennis and Olivia Wright each had a service ace.

In the second set, the Arabians jumped out to a 3-0 lead and later extended it to 7-1 to take early control. Pendleton Heights’ service game was strong with five aces. Ennis and Ramsey Gary had two apiece. Avery Ross continued to lead the attack with five kills.

It was all Pendleton Heights in the third set, too, scoring 10 of the set’s first 11 points.

Avery Ross had five kills in the set and 13 for the match. Ennis had nine kills. Mikala Ross had six.

Pendleton Heights added five more aces to its total, giving it 12 for the contest. Gary and Chloe Carpenter each had two in the final frame. Gary had a team-high four for the contest.

If the Arabians win Saturday morning they will play Saturday evening, 7 p.m., for the sectional championship and berth into the regional round.

The second semifinal will be set on Thursday with first-round matches between Muncie Central and host Yorktown, the defending Class 4A state champion and another one of the teams that have beaten the Arabians this season. The other first round game has New Castle taking on Anderson.