LIZTON — After beating rival Brownsburg in straight sets on Thursday, the Avon volleyball team did the same on Saturday with hardware on the line.
No. 2-ranked Avon topped Tri-West and Plainfield before besting Brownsburg, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17, to win its fourth consecutive Hendricks County tournament title.
“It’s tough playing one another so close together, but I thought we did a little better today than we did on Thursday,” Avon coach Scott McQueen said. “We were more consistent, and the points we gave up were volleyball points, not mess-ups by us.”
Brownsburg coach Bob Yeager said errors kept the Bulldogs from being able to seriously threaten the Orioles.
“You can’t shoot yourself in the foot against a team as good as Avon, and we had six service errors in the second set, which came at bad times,” said Yeager, whose team beat Cascade and Danville to reach the title match. “Overall, though, we stayed in system and we’ll improve from here.”
The first set was tight until Avon scored seven straight points off the serve of Rebeckah Strange to take a 24-14 lead before putting it away three points later.
Avery Brown was strong at the net for Brownsburg in the second set, as the Bulldogs fought to make it 19-19. A block by Avon’s Beth Prince sparked the Orioles, as they scored six out of the final seven points, the last on a kill by Prince.
Avon controlled the final set, as Calle Weddle dominated with eight kills.
“The first two games weren’t her best, and we were joking that she was getting a little mad because she wasn’t getting the kills she normally does,” McQueen said. “She’s a great player who works hard, plays well and makes things easier on me.”
Weddle led Avon (16-3) in kills with 13, followed by Beth Prince with 10. Rachel Griffin tallied 30 assists and Strange recorded 18 digs.
McQueen said the defending Class 4A state champions are coming together well as a group.
“We returned a lot of players off of last year’s team, but there’s a little different hunger and they’re finding out new ways to be better teammates and get through the grind,” he said. “They’re also figuring out new ways to be energetic in our matches, and I thought they did a nice job of that today.”
For Brownsburg (10-3), Brown led in kills with eight, followed by McKenzie Mason with seven. Ally Beyers had 23 assists and Carissa Damler had 10 digs.
Yeager is pleased with how Brownsburg’s youth and experience have meshed so far.
“We start three sophomores and a freshman, and we have a good senior mix, and their leadership has helped the younger kids,” Yeager said. “In high-intensity matches Thursday and today, I thought (Brown) especially played very well.”