Photo by Lori PoteetCarli Cahill and the Chargers got a nice tune-up in for their upcoming sectional.
Photo by Lori Poteet

Carli Cahill and the Chargers got a nice tune-up in for their upcoming sectional.
LINDEN - North Montgomery couldn't have asked for a better chance to tune up for the volleyball sectional. Despite the 4-1 loss, the Chargers saw a 24-8 McCutcheon team that is one of the best in the area. The Mavs were just a little better than the Chargers Monday night, winning 25-20, 16-25, 25-15, 26-24.

"We just had a talk and we've done all these things to get ready and they need to let the training speak for itself. They got really nervous here at the end of that last set. They just needed to relax and let what they've learned come to fruition," Charger head coach Jodi Webster said. "I take all of these games and see what we can learn from them. This is a great one on comebacks, runs and action. It's a heck of a way to start the prep for the sectional."

The Chargers made a furious comeback in the first set after being down 13-21. They got it as close as 20-23, but couldn't make the last run.

The second set was all Chargers. Things started with a big kill from junior Ally French. North stretched things out when seniors Lindzy Sabens and Conner Norman went back-to-back with kills to make it 7-4.

Senior Brook Karle put things away, serving a 5-0 run that stretched it all the way to 19-9 and the Chargers cruised the rest of the way.

"I get pumped up. There's such a flow and energy when they start to have those runs," Webster said. "It was great to see that. But we had our troubles in the first and third. We did some nice things in the fourth set. I'm excited."

The teams pulled 180s in the third set. The Mavs were clicking from the start. North looked to get back in it with a block from senior Megan Warren followed by a kill from French, but McCutcheon answered with a quick run to steal the momentum. The Mavs closed on a 6-1 run to make it two sets to one.

French once again got things going in the fourth set with a kill and Norman made it 2-1 to get the early advantage. McCutcheon responded and forced an early timeout. North used the break to make a run with kills from Cortney Kolger to make it 7-10 and 11-11.

"Cortney had a really nice night for us tonight," Webster said. "We have a lot of girls that can come up big."

The Chargers tied it up again at 16-16 with a kill from senior Lindzy Sabens that sparked the crowd and the team. Sabens added another kill to make it 18-17 and give North their first lead since 4-3.

Another 5-2 run from McCutcheon forced North into their second timeout. Once again, it paid off thanks to a kill from French and an ace from Karle that tied it at 23-23. North went up 24-23 before two uncharacteristic errors, one of a pass and one on a serve-receive, gave McCutcheon a 25-24 lead they wouldn't relinquish. North Montgomery made just five serve-receive errors on 83 attempts.

"It was a tight match against a bigger school going into the sectional," Webster said. "They have a size comparison to Western Boone and a comparison in what they do sometimes. It's good to have a game like this going in. You don't want to end on a blowout either way. Competition breeds competition - psychologically and physically."

North Montgomery's regular season ends with a 17-6 record. They will act as host for the sectional, which begins Thursday with Western Boone vs. Lebanon. The Chargers open against Crawfordsville on Saturday at 11 a.m. Frankfort will play the winner of Western Boone and Lebanon at 1 p.m. with the championship set for 6 p.m.