HOWARD — They fought hard, but East Knox couldn’t stop Centerburg from continuing its perfect run through the Mid-Buckeye Conference.
The Trojans downed the Bulldogs, 25-23, 26-24, 25-11, in a match that was as thrilling as it was close.
In all three games, Centerburg (6-1, 6-0) took an early lead. East Knox (4-3, 3-3) fought back in the first set, scoring six straight points before giving up the game winner.
In the second game, East Knox fell behind 5-0 before starting their comeback. After tying it 7, both teams held to within a point of one another. Finally a close bounce on the line, followed by a net fault, cost the Bulldogs the game.
By Game 3, the Trojans still had high energy, but East Knox appeared drained. They fell hard, but head coach Brooke Doup was impressed by their performance.
“Centerburg is unbeaten, and they’re tough. My team fought until point 25. I’m very proud of them,” Doup said.
The Trojans attacked the net throughout the match. Tristen Simpson led the way with 13 kills, while Stacy Fielding added six.
Centerburg’s Macy Michel led all servers with four aces. She also had seven digs.
East Knox stayed in the match with defense. Allison Henthorn had 34 digs, and Hayley Gray had 23. Lindsey VanHoose added three blocks.
Despite remaining unbeaten, Centerburg coach Ami Stevens says there’s still a lot to work on.
“We didn’t play to our strengths in the first two games. We were more aggressive in the third game,” Stevens said. “We have a lot of young players. They can be afraid to make mistakes, and that’s not going to win games.”
Centerburg hopes to continue its run Saturday at the Newark Invitational. East Knox will participate in the Ridgedale Invitational on Saturday.