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Post: Blog2_Post
  • Val T.

Despite Borges’ 17 kills, Wabash beats Pioneer in 4

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

The Pioneer volleyball team struggled with ball control in their Class 2A, Sectional 36 semifinal match against Wabash, according to coach Rod Nies.

Mandee Weisenburger

Because of that, Wabash took control of the match and earned a 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 25-16 win over the No. 5 Lady Panthers at Rochester Saturday afternoon.

Pioneer, playing in the Class 2A state tournament for the first time since the start of class volleyball in the fall of 1997, finished the season 26-8.

“They just outplayed us, start to finish, without a doubt,” Pioneer coach Rod Nies said. “(Wabash coach) Katie (Cromer) had her team ready. Our team did not play very well. A lot of that has to do with them. They’re a great team. They really served us tough, and we had some issues with our ball control for some reason today. They just outplayed us pretty much in every aspect of the game. They outhustled us. They outpassed us. Their ball control was much better than ours, and that goes to Katie being a great coach.”

Brooklyn Borges had 17 kills to lead Pioneer, and Mandee Weisenburger added eight. Borges and Keirsten Nies had three blocks each.

Kaitlin Weldy had a team-high 14 digs, and Mackenzie Rogers (11) and Adeline Cripe (10) also got into double figures. Rogers had 26 assists, and Nies had 13.

Borges also had a team-high two aces.

Faryn Morris had 16 kills for Wabash, who improved to 25-6 and will play Rochester in the sectional final at 6 p.m. Saturday. Rochester ousted Winamac 25-23, 25-5, 25-16 in the other semifinal.

Pioneer grabbed a 16-7 lead in Game 2 on a Borges kill out of the middle, but Wabash rallied to tie the game at 22. Pioneer then recovered on a Borges kill that clipped the net, an Elizabeth Rance kill and a Mackenzie Rogers clean ace that found safe ground in the middle of Wabash’s defense.

The match was tied, but Wabash then responded by taking the final two games. A four-point Pioneer run in Game 4 that included kills from Kylie Attinger and Borges and a Morris lift got Pioneer within 13-10 and led to Wabash coach Katie Cromer calling timeout.

But Wabash got those four points coming back out of the timeout, and they later closed out the match on a Morris kill and a Morris tip.

“You can’t just key on one or two players because usually, your two big hammers are opposite of one another,” coach Nies said of trying to defend Wabash’s big three hitters of Morris, fellow senior Jade Stumbo and freshman Bryleigh Boggs. “But when you run that third person in there, you need to be very disciplined on your blocking and your blocking schemes, and you’ve got to be ready defensively, and we were not ready. We never made the adjustment on Morris hitting line. She hit line a ton, and our outside blockers never made that adjustment. We kept pushing our block in, and she made us pay for it.”

Pioneer went 7-0 in Hoosier North play for the fourth straight year, but Nies later said there are a larger number of teams capable of winning a state title in Class 2A as compared to Class 1A, in which he said about the top five or six teams could win.

Defensive specialist Kaitlin Weldy and Weisenburger both graduate.

“I’ve got a good portion of my varsity back for next year, so I have high hopes,” coach Nies said. “A really big, talented junior class. I’m going to really look forward to coaching them next year. We’ve got to have a good club season. That’s going to be the factor right there.”

Wabash def. Pioneer, 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 25-16

Pioneer stats

Adeline Cripe – 10 digs; Blair Grigsby – 1 ace, 3 digs; Brooklyn Borges – 2 aces, 17 kills, 3 blocks, 3 digs; Kaitlin Weldy – 1 ace, 14 digs; Keirsten Nies – 1 ace, 1 kill, 3 blocks, 13 assists, 9 digs; Kylie Attinger – 4 kills, 1 block, 2 digs; Elizabeth Rance – 4 kills, 2 blocks, 7 digs; Mackenzie Rogers – 1 ace, 6 kills, 26 assists, 11 digs; Mandee Weisenburger – 8 kills, 7 digs


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