Indian Creek central blocker Faith Wiseman wasted no time getting her team off to a good start in Wednesday’s Johnson County Volleyball Tournament game against visiting Whiteland – and she and her teammates n didn’t give up once they got out in front.
Wiseman finished with 11 kills and six blocks, representing the game’s first and final points as Indian Creek claimed a 25-21, 25-12, 28-26 victory over the Warriors.
The Braves (13-10) face Center Grove in the semi-finals at 5:30 p.m. in Edinburgh today.
Wiseman quickly put the home side ahead with two blocks and a kill on the first three points of the night, helping to pave the way for a 10-2 advantage. Whiteland returned and fought three straight set points to get closer to 24-21 before Ava McClanahan broke the closing point.
When asked what had helped Indian Creek get started so well, Wiseman was quick to show the credit.
“Definitely Ava’s service. She let them down, gave us a lead, which really helps, ”the second year said. “Our energy was definitely high; when we get our energy back, it’s great. Savannah (Hall) did a really good dig and we just played really well as a team. “
Indian Creek also led from start to finish in the second set, extending their lead to 14-4 on back-to-back wins by McClanahan and from there.
The Warriors (6-11) showed a little more life in the third, tying the score twice at the start and staying close most of the time. The Braves finally got some breathing room when a kill from Emilee Scott, an ace from Hall and a block from Wiseman brought the score to 16-11, but Whiteland refused to leave, reducing the deficit to 21-19 on consecutive aces from Addie Stoll.
Two more Haley Kunz aces kept the game alive as the visitors avoided five match points to tie the set at 24-24, and a Lindsey Jones kill and ace gave Whiteland his first lead of the night to 26-25. But the Braves regained their composure, ending things suitably with a kill from Wiseman.
“We talked about playing loose and playing ball,” said Indian Creek coach Andi Ferris. “I feel like sometimes we think too much about our serve, and then we play it too many times. But they finally managed to pull themselves together… and it was nice to see Faith take the jackpot at the end, because she had a really good game tonight.
Whiteland coach Jill Cain, whose team have been ravaged by injuries throughout the season, liked the fight she saw from her team at the end but would prefer not to have to play from behind as well often.
“They wait until we’re five or six points ahead and then they try to start digging,” Cain said, “and I think they do a really good job, but sometimes it’s just too late. “
McClanahan added nine kills for the Braves, while Jones led the Warriors with eight.
Indian Creek then turns its attention to seeded Center Grove. The Braves present themselves as an underdog, but that’s fine with them.
“I hope my children come up with the attitude of ‘What have we to lose?’ Ferris said. “It’s exciting to have this opportunity to help us prepare for the playoffs.”
“If we play our best, keep our energy and have positive attitudes, I think we’ll give them value for their money,” Wiseman added.