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Maconaquah wins own invitational with 4-0 record

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

Maconaquah’s volleyball team will head into sectional play this week with momentum on its side after winning all four matches at the Maconaquah Invitational Saturday morning.

The Braves defeated Indianapolis Crispus Attucks 25-3, 25-9, Blackford 25-4, 25-7, Faith Christian 25-18, 25-18 and Culver Military Academy in the final 27-25, 23-25, 19-17.

Maconaquah head coach Keeana Walton said the opening matches allowed the girls the chance to get back to winning ways while also evaluating different plans on the court.

“The first two matches went by very quickly,” Walton said. “We got the chance to work on some things and saw some great stuff on our end.

“The third match with Faith Christian was more challenging but we still worked on playing with a quicker tempo to go into the final and into the sectional.”

Walton added the final against CMA was a spirited match between two teams that didn’t give up on anything.

“There was a lot of heart from both teams,” Walton said. “Both teams were scrappy and ball placement was how this team won.

“We had a feeling it was going to be a tough match as Culver is a great team. They have a great rotation, great hitters, a huge setter who could dump it whenever she wanted to and it was a battle for us.

“As long as we played up to our capability, we were able to hang with and eventually beat them,” Walton added.

The final against the Cadets was a tightly-drawn contest across all three sets with the hosts fighting off a set point in the opener, securing the last three points to win the set.

Maconaquah looked comfortable in the second set with a 20-14 lead but couldn’t maintain the advantage as CMA rallied to take the lead at 21-20.

The Braves tied the match twice from there but the visitors grabbed the final two points to win the set and send the final into a decisive third set.

Despite holding a 7-4, the hosts were soon down 9-7 after a five-point run from the Cadets.

The visitors took a 12-10 lead, only for Maconaquah to take the next three points for a 13-12 lead.

The Braves missed on two match points and then had to fight off one of their own trailing 16-15.

After missing a third chance to finish the match, Maconaquah finally found the winning combination to take the third set 19-17 and the invitational title.

Walton was pleased with the team’s performance in the match and throughout the day.

“It was very exciting to see,” Walton said about the girls winning two sets beyond the normal minimum score. “We needed that going into sectional week because it showed how well we could play.” 

Maconaquah will begin sectional play at Western Thursday, facing the host Panthers in the second game at approximately 7:30 p.m.