Arabians open HHC play with 3-1 loss to Mt. Vernon


By Brady Extin | The Times-Post

FORTVILLE — With multiple matches a week, and sometimes on back-to-back days, the IHSAA volleyball season can be a grind.

Pendleton Heights learned that firsthand last week.

After long, hard-fought, five-set losses to two teams earning votes in the Indiana High School Volleyball Coaches Association Class 4A poll, Westfield and Noblesville, on Monday and Tuesday, the Arabians (5-5, 0-1) were met with their Hoosier Heritage Conference opener on Thursday night.

They were defeated on the road by Mt. Vernon (7-3, 1-0) 3-1.

The Arabians came out strong, taking set one behind leads of 10-4, 18-7, and 21-13.

Three Mikala Ross kills and two Annie Canada aces in the first seven points were the catalysts to the hot start.

In a 21-13 game, though, 11 of the next 12 points went to Mt. Vernon. A Sierra Holverson kill gave the Marauders back the serve and Holverson then held serve for seven straight points, with four of the points coming on aces.

The stretch gave the Marauders a 24-22 lead.

A Mikala Ross kill and three more Pendleton Heights points led to a 26-24 win for the Arabians to open the night.

In the set, Ross contributed five kills. She led the Arabians on the night with eight.

The Set 1 comeback by Mt. Vernon, though, set the tone for the rest of the night.

A 25-23 hard-fought win in Set 2 by the Marauders was followed with dominant 25-9 and 25-17 wins to close things out.

Pendleton Heights was in control again in Set 2 19-14, but as in Set 1, the Marauders wouldn’t go away easily.

An Easton Wampler kill sparked the Mt. Vernon comeback and after an Avery Delello diving dig, Wampler’s third kill in a four-point stretch moved the Marauders back within one point.

Two kills from Olivia Johnson, and two aces from Ava Whitmore down the stretch gave the Marauders a chance to win the set, and Sophia Damer delivered with a kill to close things out.

The momentum of winning Set 2, allowed Mt. Vernon to grab the first five points of Set 3 en route to a stress-free 25-9 win.

In Set 4, the Marauders controlled things from start to finish once again. Leads of 5-2, 14-5, and 17-10 kept the Arabians at bay until the eventual 25-17.

Pendleton Heights played Lapel on Tuesday after press time and is back in action tonight for another tough conference matchup against Class 4A No. 2 Yorktown.

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