Lady Raiders fall to Northlake Christian School in playoffs

Published 1:57 pm Friday, November 3, 2017

COVINGTON — Pine suffered a 25-9, 25-11, 25-8 loss to Northlake Christian School in Tuesday’s Division IV bi-district round state playoff match at NCS.
The 23rd-seeded Lady Raiders were facing a tough Lady Wolverines’ team, but did a good job of keeping plenty rallies alive and giving themselves a chance to get points.
“Northlake has several good players that play on the front row that have really hard spikes and they read our defense really well,” Pine coach Tammy Voth said. “If we back up, they tip. If we come up, they hit hard to the back row. That’s one thing our girls have got to learn how to do is read the other team and what to expect. Our girls are young. They haven’t quite gotten to that point yet, but we’re getting there and they improved every time we played.”
“We did a better job with them than we did last time, so as long as our team is getting better, that’s all we can ask for.”
No. 10 Northlake Christian won the regular season meeting, which was Oct. 25, by scores of 25-11, 25-8, 25-4.
The Lady Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the first game Tuesday, after winning a long rally.
The scoring went back-and-forth over the opening four points.
Northlake Christian began to open up the game toward the middle. Leading 10-7, the Lady Wolverines scored three straight that began with a kill by Kyren Whittington and ended when Pine was called for being in the net that made it a 13-7 contest. Pine pulled within five, but the Lady Wolverines went on a 10-0 run to pretty much put the game away. Sophie Cramond posted three aces during the spurt, including on the final two points of the run.
Pine broke the serve to make it a 23-9 contest, but Mia Chiota capped off the game with a pair of kills in the 25-9 final.
Pine scored the first point of the second game, but Northlake Christian ran off four in a row to take a 4-1 lead.
The teams played even for the next few points, as the Lady Raiders trailed 6-3.
Northlake Christian ran off five in a row to go up 11-3.
The Lady Raiders then scored two in a row to pull within six of the lead, but the Lady Wolverines pulled away. They didn’t make a huge run, but chipped away at 25 in the victory to go up by two games.
The third game essentially belonged to Northlake Christian.
Pine took a 2-0 lead, but the Lady Wolverines put up three straight to go up 3-2.
The Lady Raiders kept the lead within one, but with the score, 4-3, Northlake Christian ran off 18 in a row to go up 22-3.
Pine came back with four in a row that featured an ace by Leah Ladner. It was 22-7.
The Lady Wolverines posted three of the next four points in the 25-8 win.
Pine finishes the season with a 6-15 record.
The Lady Raiders had a young team this year. The group, which had 12 players, featured one senior, two juniors, one sophomore and the rest are seventh graders through freshmen.
The senior was Kelli Adams.
“Kelli is a tremendous player,” Voth said. She has been with me since I’ve been coaching. She’s been a starter for, I think, five seasons. I think she started in eighth grade. We’re going to miss her next year. When she’s not around, the team doesn’t really feel the same.
“They have a hard time filling her spot, so we’re really going to miss her next year. She’s awesome. She’s an athlete. She’s a good friend. She’s just an all-around good kid.”
Northlake Christian is 16-10 and the Lady Wolverines faced seventh-seeded Episcopal on the road yesterday in the regional round. Episcopal had a bye in the first round.