Heritage Hills bows to powerhouse Memorial

Special to The Herald

MOUNT VERNON — Heritage Hills coach Kayla White made the necessary adjustments.

The problem was, Evansville Memorial always answered with a new look, and it led to the Tigers winning the Class 3A volleyball sectional title Saturday night over the Patriots, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21.

It’s the ninth sectional championship for Memorial and the fourth in the past six seasons. The Tigers improved to 29-1 with the victory.

“Memorial is just a really good volleyball team,” White said. “I saw the heart and I saw the determination, and I saw that they wanted to get there, so I’m proud of them for that.”

It was Heritage Hills’ second match of the day after beating Evansville Bosse that morning, 25-12, 25-16, 25-18, in the semifinal.

“You work hard Thursday and you work hard Saturday morning, and then you get thrown into the lobby of a hotel [waiting to play],” White said. “Then you have to play Memorial.

“It puts a lot on their bodies, but they came out with everything we could’ve done.”

Unfortunately for the Patriots, the Tigers wore down the back line by getting around Heritage Hills’ blockers up front.

“We didn’t have any full blocks, and that’s hard on the back row when we are relying on them to do everything,” White said. “Then the front row gets frustrated because they aren’t doing their job, and the back row gets frustrated because they have to take up the load.

“Memorial went around our blockers better than we were blocking them. That really brought the momentum for them and really nailed us down.”

White said making adjustments on the fly during a match is challenging.

“You get about three seconds between [plays], so you are hollering a name and you’re telling them move the block,” she said. “We made the adjustments, but once we made them, Memorial went the other way.

“We were playing tag. We would make an adjustment and they’d do something else, so we’re just chasing them around trying to make adjustments.”

Against the Tigers, Heritage Hills finished with 24 kills, including nine apiece from Rebekah Gordon and Shelby Skelton. Hannah Marchand accounted for all 23 of the team’s assists.

Gordon, Skelton and Shelby Miller each had an ace.

Marchand also led Heritage Hills with 15 digs, while Hannah Schnuck added 14.

Heritage Hills saw its Pocket Athletic Conference title season end with a 21-11 record.

“I’ve had four teams, and this one has the most grit. They don’t quit,” White said. “They never want to stop, they want the intensity.

“That was fun to coach.”

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