NEW CARLISLE – Tippecanoe beat Urbana, 24-26, 25-18, 25-19, 23-25, 15-11, in the Division II volleyball sectional on Thursday.
Urbana opened in promising fashion, leaping out to an 8-1 lead in the first set before Tipp called timeout. The Red Devils narrowed the deficit over the course of the game, reaching a tie at 19-19 and again at 22-22 and 24-24.
Hunter Rogan smashed home a pair of kills to close the set out in the Hillclimbers’ favor.
For the match for UHS, Rogan had 34 kills, 19 digs and 3 aces, Olivia Dunham had 34 digs, Taylor Adams had 37 assists and 14 digs and Bridget Ofori had 16 digs and 4 kills.
The second set was another thrilling affair until the midway point, as Tippecanoe was able to pull away for the victory to tie the match at one set each.
The Red Devils carried that momentum into the third set and raced to a 7-2 lead before UHS Coach Chuck Pack called timeout and got his girls back into things. The ‘Climbers roared back and tied the game at 10-10.
Later in the set, a pair of fairly egregious calls went Tipp’s way. Late in the game, what should have been a 20-20 tie was actually a 22-18 lead for Tippecanoe.
“We try to tell the girls all the time not to get wrapped up in the referee’s calls, because we can’t control those,” Pack said. “If we don’t agree with them, we don’t agree with them. Us not agreeing with them isn’t going to change anything. In the game of volleyball, you play with a lot of momentum. But it can go the opposite, too. If you get wrapped up in referee’s calls or anything like that, you’re taking your team out of it.”
The Red Devils went on to win the set and take a 2-1 lead into a pivotal fourth set.
Urbana would not go away quietly. Tipp pushed a 9-9 tie into a 13-9 lead, but the Hillclimbers came from behind again and actually led 23-22 before putting away a couple of points to force a deciding fifth set.
“We came out with a lot of energy and really controlled both ourselves and the ball,” Pack said. “They came back and rallied and played with all the energy and heart that we could ask them to. Whatever happened at that point, happened.”
Urbana came out strong in the fifth, opening a 4-0 lead before Tippecanoe called timeout and regrouped. It was all Red Devils after that, with Urbana winning every third point or so and falling 15-11.
“I’m proud of them. I thought they gave great effort. They could have given up and they didn’t,” Pack said.
WL-S game rescheduled
The WL-S boys soccer sectional game has been rescheduled for 2 p.m. at Botkins on Saturday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.