Lady Arrows battle back to earn Sectional Title over the Miami East Lady Vikings.
BROOKVILLE – It has been 21 years since Preble Shawnee has won a sectional title. This year’s team finally broke that drought. Despite a shaky start in the first set, the young Arrows team got into a rhythm and won the next three sets against Miami East to earn the sectional title in Brookville. Scoring was 18-25, 28-26, 25-20 and 25-16.
The Arrows seemed rattled in the opening set. Miami East got an early lead and Shawnee had to play catch up. They made a good run and pulled within a point when Harlee Howard got a kill to make it 17-18. But Miami East went on a 7-1 tear to cement the win. The Arrows had some sloppy play early and had several unforced errors that handed points to the Vikings.
“I don’t think we were awake”, commented Coach Evans after the game, “Miami East out served us the entire match, but that first set they served us off the floor.”
After a good talking to between sets the Arrows went on a mission in the second set. The two teams battled back and forth in this set. It was critical to Miami East to keep their momentum and get up by two sets. And the Arrows needed to win the set to draw even with the Vikings. Both teams played with urgency. Harlee Howard and Cora Neihoff made some big plays in this set. But it was the Arrows that ground out the win 28-26.
“I told the girls this is where we are going to be average or we are going to be great. If we are average, we are going to roll over and let them win. If we are going to be great – we have to go now. And the team turned it on. Miami East battled us in the second set and served great, but we overcame the errors that we had made. ”
In the third set the teams again played evenly. But with Neihoff serving, the Arrows made a little run to put some daylight between them and the Vikings late in the match. Howard and Kahlen Kulms had big kills during this 4-1 run. The Vikings could not close the gap and would lose 25-20.
“In the third and fourth set we just put the throttle down. We scheduled some tough out of conference games so that we would be ready for nights like these. I want them to be able to fight and know what it’s like against good teams.”
In the last set, the Arrows simply dominated. Miami East used up time out after time out to no avail. The attacking Shawnee Arrows kept the pressure up. Korrie Woodard had 2 service aces and Neihoff also had a service ace during this set. Both Neihoff and Howard racked up the kills as they were both unrelenting at the net. The Arrows easily won this last set 25-16.
Coach Evans was asked about Cora Neihoff, “She had around 100 kills last season, this year she is looking at 300. She has turned it on. She is among the better players that I have had the privilege of coaching. She puts in time in the gym and even with the knee injury, she is hard to slow down.”