Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Jessica Burress of North Side spikes the ball against South Side during the first set at North Side on Tuesday.
Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Trinity Mitchell of North Side spikes the ball against South Side during the first set at North Side on Tuesday.
Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Ehku Htoo of South Side serves the ball against North Side during the first set Tuesday at North Side.
Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Mykaille Williams, of North Side, returns a serve from South Side during the first set at North Side on Tuesday.
Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Anna Htoo of South Side returns a serve from North Side during the first set at North Side on Tuesday.
Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Gracie Litchsinn of North Side sets up teammate Trinity Mitchell to spike the ball against South Side during the first set Tuesday at North Side.
Tuesday, October 09, 2018 10:40 pm
North Side finally gets sectional volleyball win
ELIZABETH WYMAN | The Journal Gazette
The last time North Side volleyball won a sectional match, most of the 17 girls on the Legend's roster had yet to start second grade. Eleven years later, second-year coach Terry Boyles' team collected a 3-0 sectional win at home over South Side on Tuesday.
"These girls have been playing great all year," Boyles said. "They deserve this win bigger than anything. They have worked so hard since this summer. I loved seeing the way they fought back and didn't give up."
North Side (4-20) defeated South Side (0-17) 25-19, 25-22, 25-21.
After falling behind by seven points in the second set, Boyles, in his second season leading the Legends, used every opportunity he could as a teaching moment for his team. From demonstrating proper setting form, motioning to his head, telling his team to think, or blurting out "we're down by five, big hits don't matter if they're out of bounds," Boyles was determined to get the sectional win.
"During that I said 'if we score the point they can't,'" Boyles said. "I just said 'we gotta play this one point at a time,' and that's what the girls did."
Senior Trinity Mitchell, a four-year varsity player, was nearly in tears after the win.
"I'm just so proud of my girls that we won and that it ended the way it should have – 3-0," Mitchell said. "Our defense is good; we have the hitters, the blockers, the team, and we have the skillset."
Boyles said Mitchell embodies the spirit of the team.
"I can yell at her and she still keeps a smile on her face," Boyles said. "We had a discussion earlier in the season and she says 'Coach, you're harder on me than anybody else.' I'm like 'Yeah, but you can take it.' And she has every year."
Mitchell led the team in aces with six, including some crucial ones in that second-set comeback. As the loudest and rowdiest player on the court, Mitchell wasn't ready for her senior season to end.
"It's just my personality," Mitchell said. "If I'm hype, I want my team hype. I've always been told that the loudest team wins, so if my team's loud and rowdy we're going to win."
Defense has been an emphasis for North Side this season.
"Our defense has improved tremendously," Boyles said. "Even when we've been playing the Dwengers and Concordias we make them earn their points."
Senior Jessica Burress said Boyles' style of defense has given her more confidence in all facets of her game.
"My defense, ever since he's been here, has gotten 10 times better," Burress said. "My swing has gotten a lot harder and I'm not nearly as scared to do what I wouldn't have done two years ago.
Having only won three games prior to the sectional win, Boyles said it takes a special team to continue practicing and getting better.
"They practice even when I don't want to," Boyles said. "These girls want to be in this gym; they love the game and they play it because they love it ... this group of girls has made me, being a second year coach, a wonderful experience."
North Side will play Wayne on Saturday in the sectional semifinals.