PENDLETON — Since the turn of the month, the Pendleton Heights volleyball team has begun to hit its stride.
After a loss to Yorktown to close out August, the Arabians have gone 10-3, including their sixth straight Madison County championship.
The 10th win of the month came last Thursday, Sept. 14, with a dominant win against Hoosier Heritage Conference opponent New Palestine.
At home, the Arabians defeated the Dragons in straight sets 25-18, 25-23, and 25-21.
Slow New Palestine starts in the first and second sets allowed the Arabians to prevail.
Pendleton Heights led the entirety of Set 1 and Set 2 on their way to a two-set advantage.
Kills from five players over the Arabians first nine points led to a 9-5 Pendleton Heights lead. Mikala Ross, Annie Canada, Gianna Kanitz, Carmen Horn and Kaycie Warfel each had one.
Six more Ross and two more Warfel kills the remainder of the set kept the Dragons at bay, and led to the 25-18 win in Set 1.
The Arabians lead throughout Set 2 was fueled by the Dragons troubles serving.
A service error to start the match kickstarted an 8-2 Pendleton Heights lead. In the set, New Palestine had five service errors.
Down 20-13 later in the set, the Dragons began their comeback.
New Palestine scored nine of the next 11 points to tie things up for the first time since 2-2 in Set 1.
Nyla Lewis and Bella Brownfield had kills over the stretch, and Rachel Burke had an ace.
Another Brownfield kill made things 23-23, before another Dragons service error set up Warfel for the set-winning kill.
A Brownfield kill to open Set 3 put the Arabians behind for the first time all night, but Ross matched her. Two Ross kills kept things at 3-3.
New Palestine grabbed back the lead 8-7 behind two Burke kills, but from there the Arabians would take back control.
A Brea Perry ace started things, and a few more kills by Ross allowed the Arabians to grab a 15-12 lead.
The Dragons tied things back up 19-19 before Pendleton Heights grabbed six of the final eight points.
Ross led the Arabians with 17 kills, Warfel added nine kills, and Canada, Horn, and Kanitz each finished with five.
Kanitz assisted on 31 of the Arabians points, and Tessa Hannon led the team with two aces and 15 digs.
Pendleton Heights fell to non-conference foe Fishers 3-2 on the road on Monday, and faced HHC opponent New Castle on Tuesday (after press time). They are scheduled to play non-conference opponent Hamilton Heights today, Thursday, Sept. 21, on the road starting at 7 p.m.
The Arabians have two consecutive conference games teed up next week — Shelbyville away at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 and Greenfield-Central at home at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28.