BROWNSBURG — Entering into Thursday night’s contest against Brownsburg, the No. 2-ranked Avon Orioles volleyball team was perfect in Hoosier Crossroads Conference play. Avon (13-3, 5-0) hadn’t even dropped a set to its previous HCC foes and the Orioles continued that trend, besting Brownsburg 3-0.
“Overall, I was pretty pleased and the kids did well,” Avon coach Scott McQueen said. “We had a stretch there at the end of the second set that wasn’t great.”
After falling 25-14 in the first set, Brownsburg kept it interesting with its county and conference rival at the end of the second game. Avon jumped out to a 10-point advantage at 13-3 and that’s when Brownsburg coach Steve Yeager felt his team started to play their game.
“We played a little nervous in the first set, but they seemed to calm down there in the second set I think because we got so far behind,” Yeager said. “We started relaxing a little bit and it carried over but the energy level dropped towards the end.”
Brownsburg fell behind 22-12 before mounting a rally. Behind the service of Bailey Roark, the Bulldogs rattled off an 8-0 run. Avon was on the precipice of closing out the Bulldogs at 24-21 and Brownsburg tied the match at 24-24 before taking a 25-24 lead.
“We’ve been there and done that before and we’ve been there before with Brownsburg,” McQueen said. “The good thing is our kids reacted well to it.”
The two teams fought through three more ties before Avon took a 28-27 advantage off of a Calle Weddle kill and then an ace from Audrey Shipman ended the set.
Weddle finished the night with 16 kills — several of those from the back row — and really stood out for Avon, whom McQueen said was “tinkering with a new lineup.”
“She’s so good and we’re fortunate to have kids like Beth (Prince) and Calle as two outside hitters that offer so much,” McQueen said. “More and more people are noticing her and I thought she played fantastic tonight.”
Brownsburg (6-3, 3-2) jumped ahead early in the third set, taking a 6-2 lead before the two squads tied at 8-8 and 9-9. Avon took the lead on an out of bounds serve and slowly pulled away for a 25-20 win to end the set and match.
These two teams could meet again as soon as today at Tri-West as they are on opposite sides of the Hendricks County Tournament bracket. Avon and Brownsburg could also meet for a third time in sectional play, which Brownsburg hosts.