In a crosstown rivalry between Madisonville and Hopkins Central, the Lady Maroons earned a hard-fought but straight set volleyball victory Thursday night on the road.
North got off to a 6-3 lead, punctuated by a kill and an ace by Madison McCabe. Central got the ball back after North scored two more points with a no return. North then hit it out of bounds to put Central within three points. McCabe almost gave North the ball back, but she spiked it into the net to make it 8-6. A ball out of bounds and another ball in the net quickly tied the set up 8-8.
Central couldn't return it, giving a point and the ball back to North. After the Lady Maroons made the score 11-8, Zoie Larkins brought the ball back to Central with a kill to make it 11-9. North would briefly have the ball to get up to 13 points, but a serve to the net made it 13-10 North.
Central pulled to within two points as McCabe hit it out of bounds. Central then tied it up 14-14 with two no returns in a row. A violation against North gave Central the lead 15-14. Central extended their lead to 17-14, making North call a timeout.
North started to comeback after the timeout with Central allowing three unanswered points to tie up the set 17-17. A strong kill by Larkins gave Central the lead 18-17, but a serve to the net tied it back up 18-18.
After both teams went back and forth, North took the lead 21-19. Another violation against the Lady Maroons gave the ball back to Central, but they served it out of bounds to make it 22-20 North.
After a few mistakes by Central, North suddenly was on set point with the score at 24-21. A ball in the net from Central gave North the 25-21 win in the first set.
North started out the second set by taking a 15-7 lead, forcing Central to call a timeout. After the break, Central still found themselves trailing North 20-10. North went on to win the second set 25-12.
The teams kept the third set close in the early going as it was tied up 6-6.
North brought their lead to 16-12 forcing Central to call another timeout. North was on set point 24-19, but Central kept it alive with a block to make it 24-20. Central tried to force extra points, but North tipped it over the net to win the set and match 25-21.