Journey Blevins of North Union leaps to tip a ball past the outstretched hands of several Urbana blockers on Thursday. The Lady Cats swept the match to end their regular season at 17-3. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
North Union’s volleyball squad knows how to win matches.
Head coach Peg Curts said that’s due to the fact her crew figured out how to utilize each player early in the year to make one strong unit.
“We have figured out the best way to work together and we know what our game plan is,” she said. “As long as we execute our game plan, we come out with victories.”
Thursday night’s final regular-season match against Urbana was no different for the Lady Cats as they cruised to a 3-0 sweep.
NU had to start the match without injured senior setter Grason Ingles, but Curts said the Cats have the ability to adjust.
“The only change that has occurred is Grayson Ingles, who is out for the remainder of the season,” she said.
“We made the adjustment to go to a 5-1, but it is OK because I have the clientele to do it,” said Curts.
The lineup on the floor for the Cats had some early struggles in set one against Urbana.
Once NU found its groove, it was able to make a dent in the scoreboard.
The sides kept the match tight throughout the set, swapping point-for-point.
An ace serve that took a favorable roll over the net gave the Cats their biggest lead of the set at 19-14.
The Lady Climbers responded with five unanswered points to knot the score at 19-19.
Urbana took its first lead 23-21, but several blocks and a well-placed tip by Journey Blevins gave NU a 25-23 win.
Curts said she is very proud of how her Cats have played this season.
“When you come off of a winning season, you may not quite be sure if the next season is going to go so well,” she said. “It is one of those things where it came together this year and I am really proud of them.”
Set two of the match was all the Lady Cats as they took the opening point and never let off the gas on their way to a 25-9 victory.
Blevins sealed the win with one of her 15 kills.
The final set began with an ace serve by Grace Brandt, one of two on the night for NU’s middle hitter.
The Lady Cats continued their domination by taking the early lead and keeping control throughout the match.
Sydney Bacon, Jordyn Hoffman and Gabby Ziegler led the attack.
NU completed the sweep with a 25-20 victory.
With the regular season in the books, the Lady Cats will now set their sights on hosting Centerburg in the opening round of the Division III tournament.
Curts said her team has had so much success this season that she wants to roll into the tournament using the same strategy.
“We’ve got to do some homework, but there isn’t a different mind set,” said Curts. “We know what it is we need to do,” she said. “We just need to go out there and do it. It is working for us, so we don’t need to change what has been working this season.”
The Lady Cats finished the regular season at 17-3 and as runner-up in the Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division at 8-2.
North Union will return to action in its tournament opener on Oct. 19, 2:30 p.m.
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