NorthWood 3, South Bend Riley 0
NorthWood moved to 27-2 on the season with a resounding 25-17, 25-19, 25-6 win over the Wildcats.
The trio of Claire Payne, Alana Lehman and Caitlyn Glick combined for 19 kills and Annika Bennett had 31 assists. Macy Lengacher and Sophia Barber teamed for 21 digs and Lengacher and Hannah Chupp totaled seven aces.
The JV picked up its 17th win of the season in a 25-6, 25-10 romp. Emery Porter had seven aces and 21 assists, Aaliyah Bonner smashed eight kills and had a block, and the trio of Jenna Householter, Tatum Evers and Macie Knepp all had six digs.
A win Thursday at Wawasee would give NorthWood the outright NLC title for the second time in three years. A loss and a Warsaw win at Concord would have the Panthers and Tigers split the NLC crown.
St. Francis 3, Grace 0
Grace’s volleyball team could not maintain its lead late in each set, falling 3-0 to St. Francis on Wednesday.
Each set was determined in the final moments, and two of the sets went to extra points.
The first set was the longest, going deep into extra points. A 5-0 run early in the set gave Grace a cushion that the hosts maintained until late.
The Lady Lancers held a 21-16 lead before USF pulled within one. Kills from Cassadi Colbert and Alisha Leffring put Grace on the verge of winning with the score at 24-22.
But two attack errors by Grace allowed the Cougars to tie the score. USF went on to earn five set points, which Grace survived. But the sixth set point was too much as the Cougars pulled out a 32-30 win.
While the score remained close throughout the second set, the ending had a similar story. Anna Frey pounded out three straight kills, turning a 23-22 deficit into a 24-23 lead.
But the Cougars again held off a set point and another set point soon after, using a 3-0 spurt to steal a 27-25 victory.
The third set was nearly a mirror image of the opener. An early 6-1 spurt put Grace into a small lead, which the Lady Lancers held until the final stages.
Grace led by as many as five and still owned a 22-18 lead near the end of the set. But the Cougars stunned Grace with seven unanswered points, blowing past a pair of Grace timeouts to secure the match at 25-22.
The teams were similar in many stats; USF held a 43-41 edge in kills, and Grace had 61-56 edge in digs. But Grace committed 26 attack errors, and USF had seven aces to help its cause.
Frey led Grace with 14 kills, and Colbert added eight kills and four digs. Morgan Syoen produced 21 assists and 14 digs, Gina Novotny tallied a match-high 15 digs, and Grace Erwin passed out 12 digs.
The Lady Lancers are home this weekend for the annual Lancer Classic. Grace will play Lincoln (2 p.m.) and Trinity International (6 p.m.) on Friday as well as Cumberland (9 a.m.) and St. Xavier (1 p.m.) on Saturday.