By Drew Terhall
TROY — It was a hard fought three sets. Mississinawa Valley High School volleyball battled, but couldn’t avoid the sweep by Lehman Catholic High School in the first round of the Southwest Division IV Sectional Tournament at Troy High School on Oct. 19.
Head Coach Nancy Whitted said the team was intimidated at first by the Lady Cavaliers communication and intensity. They eventually settled in and went toe-to-toe with them.
“They did really well, coming back after being down so many points. Hopefully next year, we’ll learn to be more consistent,” Whitted said.
The first set started with the Lady Cavaliers running out to a five-point lead. It was another slow start for the Lady Blackhawks.
Mississinawa Valley started to find some consistency on offense to close the gap. They started to match up with Lehman Catholic, but couldn’t hold them off late. The Lady Cavaliers took the first set, 25-20.
Lehman Catholic overwhelmed Mississinawa Valley to start the second set. The Lady Cavaliers’ offense was starting to take over the match. But, the Lady Blackhawks didn’t quit. It was a four-point lead for Lehman Catholic late in the set, 21-17.
Mississinawa Valley started to string together some points and kept fighting. But they couldn’t find the extra gear to take a late lead. The Lady Cavaliers started to find the open spots on the court and won the second set, 25-23.
The third set started out differently. The Lady Blackhawks came out with the early edge. But, it wouldn’t last long as Lehman Catholic responded to the Mississinawa Valley run and took a 16-10 lead.
Later in the set, Mississinawa Valley found their offensive rhythm and was hanging around. But like in the last two sets, the Lady Cavaliers shut the door on the Lady Blackhawks and won the third set 25-23.
Mississinawa Valley ends the 2022 season with a 13-10 record. They finished in the middle of the WOAC standings.
Six seniors will be moving on from this team. That includes First Team All-WOAC player Jocelyn Hoggatt and their libero Lilly Severance. Whitted said she will miss all of the seniors, but does have some good talent coming in next season. The junior varsity team did go 14-1 this season.
“Definitely going to miss those seniors. But I do have some good ones coming up. The Hoggatt twins are going to fill in pretty well for their sister. We have some I’m going to pull up from JV for next year. The future is bright for the Blackhawks,” Whitted said.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]