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Norse collapse, fall to Argylls in five

Northfield’s Kenzie Baer (left), Abby Hunter (center) and Morgan Meyer (right) celebrate during a timeout during Wednesday’s game against Madison-Grant.

BY JACOB RUDE - sports@wabashplaindealer.com

Down two sets to none, Madison-Grant head coach Kayla Jump had what she called a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with her team heading into the third set.

The message came across loud and clear as the Argylls staged an impressive comeback on the road against Northfield, taking the final three sets for a five-set victory, 18-25, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-6.

“I don’t think that we started playing particularly well,” Jump said. “We made a lot of mistakes. We were really slow, like our footwork and all our movement was slow. We preach every day about everybody being ready, changing our gameplan...so we decided to do a few things a little different to up the momentum. I appreciate the girls that came in off the bench or switched spots or did stuff they don’t normally do to help us get the win.”

Backs against the wall, Madison-Grant continued fending off the Norse as the margin for error only got thinner and thinner. A 6-1 run early in the third set gave Madison-Grant separation at 12-7. While both sides had a host of unforced errors on the night, Madison-Grant was able to keep that distance until Northfield tied the game at 20-20 after another Argyll miscue.

“If you don’t get your footwork right, alot of times you make mistakes and that’s where we were at,” Jump said.

Madison-Grant would bounce back, finishing the game by scoring the last four points to win 25-21.

The fourth set was just as tight with Northfield grabbing control early, using a 5-1 spurt to move ahead 14-11. Morgan Conliff would stop the run with a kill before the guests eventually tied the game back at 16-16.

After an attacking error from Madison-Grant gave Northfield a one-point edge, the Argylls scored the next five points to grab a 21-17 lead. Still, Northfield battled back, tying the game at 23-23 and forcing an Argyll timeout. Northfield’s finished off it’s own collapse with back-to-back unforced errors to hand Madison-Grant the fourth set, 25-23.

With momentum firmly on their side, Jump’s crew made quick work in the final set. Emma Brummet had a trio of aces in the first four points, forcing a quick Northfield timeout. Things would only continue to get worse for the Norse as a Gabrielle Rudy kill forced a second Northfield timeout at 11-4. Madison-Grant would put the finishing touches on the win, completing a memorable comeback.

“We have a lot of people that are sick right now,” Jump said. “We’ve been sick since the first week of the season. We’ve had people play different spots, play spots for one rotation and not go back in, just different things because we don’t have a healthy team. I’m hoping that in the next few weeks we’ll be a little bit healthier and we may have a little bit different type of play that we haven’t seen yet.”

As poorly as the final three sets went for the Norse, the first two sets were full of highs. The Norse never trailed in either set, using a 7-1 run in the middle of set one to take control and using a late 5-0 to secure the win in set two. The Argylls’ first lead of the night came in the opening point of the third set.

Madison-Grant’s seventh-straight win moves the Argylls’ to 7-2 on the year. Northfield is now 8-2 on the year.