How sweet it is!
Archbold kept its perfect record intact and advanced to the Division III regional volleyball tournament, Saturday, Oct. 31.
The Streaks (26-0) won their 24th district championship since 1975 with a 22-25, 25-12, 25-19, 25-15 victory over Parkway in the district final at Napoleon.
AHS returns to the “Sweet 16” for the first time since 2002. Parkway bows out with an 18-7 record.
Parkway Wins Game 1
Neither team led by more than four points in the first game; and each time that happened, the other team scrapped its way back to a tie.
The score was tied at 15 when a kill by Kelsey Bates and two straight aces by Emily Crowell gave Parkway a 17-15 lead.
Julie Nofziger, AHS head coach, called a time-out to settle her troops.
The Streaks came back to lead 20-19 when Archbold served the ball into the net.
A setting and a spiking error put the Panthers ahead, 22-20, and Nofziger called another time-out. A spike by Bates went off the Archbold blockers’ hands, which was followed by a Bates kill, putting Parkway at game point, 24-20.
Devin Newman hit a spike that went off the blockers’ hands, and Stacy Wyse tipped the ball over the net to close the gap to 24-22.
But Bates ended the first game with a kill, giving Parkway a 25-22 win.
“We didn’t expect anything different from what they showed out there,” said Julie Nofziger, AHS head coach.
“We knew that they’d go to their middles (middle hitters). We tried to make some adjustments and didn’t quite get the adjustments made.
“We played a little bit soft, a little bit tentative, but once we started to come out and go aggressive, we just felt that they couldn’t match up with us along the front row. That was the difference.”
It was only the second time AHS lost the first game of a match this season.
The first time was against Springfield at the Golden Spike Tournament, Sept. 26.
Streaks Win Next Three
Archbold slowly started to take control of the match in the second game. The Streaks led the entire game, and turned an 11-10 gap into an 18-10 hole the Panthers couldn’t claw their way out of.
Leading 19-11, Wyse stepped up to serve. Two aces, a double block, a spiking error, and a serve reception error later, Archbold was at game point, 24-11.
Parkway scored a point, but Emily Snyder and Hailey Galvan blocked Claire Burtch’s spike to put the second game away, 25-12.
The momentum had swung to Archbold’s side.
“Momentum–sometimes you can’t do anything about it,” said Nofziger. “Sometimes it’s on your side and sometimes it’s against you.
“Parkway just did a great job making adjustments and picking holes. They just couldn’t find it when we were tied or one up.”
The score was tied at 11 in the third game when Archbold went on an 11-5 tear that put the Streaks ahead 22-16.
A Newman spike and Snyder kill put AHS at game point, 24-18, and Snyder ended the game with a kill for a 25-19 win.
With both teams fighting hard, there were frequent long rallies throughout the match, as neither team wanted the ball to hit the floor on their side of the court.
A controversial illegal substitution call in the fourth game brought the game to a halt. Instead of an 11-9 AHS lead and Parkway holding serve, an illegal substitution was ruled to have taken place.
Two Parkway points were wiped out, a point and serve were awarded to Archbold, and all of a sudden the Streaks led 12-7.
Archbold extended the lead to eight, 20-12, when a Blue Streak serve was long. But AHS got the serve right back when Alyssa Schaub’s spike was unsuccessfully blocked.
A Newman kill gave AHS a 22-13 lead, but an error gave the side out to Parkway. The Panthers gave AHS the serve right back at 23-14 when Burtch missed her serve.
Crowell’s spike went out of bounds, putting AHS at match point, 24-14, and the AHS crowd was on its feet.
The fans were momentarily silenced when Parkway got the side out, but Newman scored Archbold’s final point with a spike that was partially blocked.
The Panthers were unable to save the play, giving AHS the 25-15 fourth-game and match victory.