Warriors win

Westview senior Alexys Antal prepares to bump the ball while teammate Mia Bontrager watches during Thursday’s first round sectional match in Albion. The Warriors won in five sets.

ALBION — Three potential points away from a trip to the sectional semifinals, Westview volleyball coach Kaija Kauffman called time.

Central Noble had scored three straight points to draw within 12-10 in the fifth set Thursday night in Albion.

Kauffman’s message to her team was simple. “They’re not going to stop,” she said she told her team. “So we can’t.”

The Warriors responded with the final three points of the match to claim a 22-25, 25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 15-10 victory.

The win improved Westview to 9-20 on the season. The Warriors will now play in a Saturday semifinal against Fairfield.

“Serving was our big thing tonight,” Kauffman said.

She said the Warriors’ strategy involved trying to keep the ball out of the hands of CN senior 6-footer Kelsey Egolf. They were able to do that just enough to claim victory.

Both teams had struggled through the regular season. Thursday’s match was more mental than anything, Kauffman said.

“Our biggest barrier for us is that mental confidence,” she said.

The match had its share of momentum shifts, but perhaps the biggest came in the third set.

With the match score knotted at 1, Central Noble opened the third set with a 6-0 run. The Cougars also led 9-4 on a kill by senior Lauren Marks, but the Warriors rattled off six straight points to take a 10-9 lead.

The two teams tied at 10, then Westview scored two straight to take a 12-10 advantage. The Warriors were never trail in the set from there, but it was close.

Westview built its lead to 22-17, before the Cougars got a kill from sophomore Haddi Hile to make it 22-18.

After a Westview hitting error, Central Noble scored a point on a block from sophomore Kelsee Lutz to draw within 22-20.

A receiving error pushed the Westview lead to 23-20 but Lutz had another block to make it 23-21.

A kill by junior Ella Clark make it 24-21, but Central Noble scored on a Westview service error and a kill from Egolf.

Trailing 24-23, Central Noble made several nice returns on Westview kill tries before freshman Kylie Yoder hit a spike into the far right corner of the Cougar defense.

The ball landed just inbounds and the Warriors had the third set.

Central Noble rallied from an 11-5 deficit in the fourth set to draw within 20-18. The Cougars then scored four straight points to take a 22-20 lead.

Central Noble held on to win the set and even the match at 2 sets apiece.

The Cougars led 4-3 in the final deciding set, but the Warriors went on a 7-1 run to take a 10-5 lead.

It was a lead the Warriors would never relinquish.

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