Class 3A No. 12 New Palestine used a balanced effort at the net Tuesday to secure a 3-0 win against Eastern Hancock.
Senior Audrey Edwards and juniors Mia Long and Allison Dennemann each used impressive offensive moves to lead the Dragons to a 25-7, 25-9, 25-6 victory.
Dennemann entered Tuesday’s contest averaging 5.8 kills per set. She finished with 23 on Tuesday on 28 attempts (82 percent) and now has 183 kills this season for New Palestine, which improved to 8-2. The Dragons have now won three contests in a row and seven of their past eight games.
Edwards added six kills, while Long finished with 11.
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“We set our outside so much that some teams set up out there and are waiting,” New Palestine head coach Kelli Whitaker said. “We really have talked about getting our right side and middles more involved. We want to get other players involved, and I think we did that tonight.
“Before the match, we just talked about making sure we did all the little things the right way. I have been talking a lot about communication before the play.”
Eastern Hancock’s (6-8) Leah Ferguson, a senior, entered the match with 76 kills on the season and added four against the Dragons. Also for the Royals, sophomore libero Haley Best registered five digs and was all over the back row Tuesday in a solid defensive effort. Best now has 150 digs this season.
New Palestine cruised to a 5-1 lead in the first set after a Dennemann kill and eventually led 15-4 after Long secured a kill of her own. After Long added an ace to make the score 20-6, the Dragons closed on a 5-1 run capped by a Dennemann kill to take a 25-7 win.
Dennemann finished with eight kills in the opening set.
“We weren’t just going for her, but she was very consistent,” Whitaker said.
New Palestine jumped out to a 10-2 advantage in the second set and led 17-4 after back-to-back kills from Long. Later in the set, Long used four aces in a row to put the Royals away as the home team won 25-9.
In the third and final set, the Dragons held a 14-5 lead after an Edwards kill and used a 5-0 run with the score at 20-6 to win the set and match.
Senior setter Kara Morris paced the Dragons offense with 36 assists, while Long led the team with eight digs, as well.
New Palestine hosts Indianapolis Lutheran today while Eastern Hancock will play Thursday at Hauser.
Eastern Hancock 0, New Palestine 3
EH – Ferguson four kills, Best five digs
NP – Dennemann 23 kills, Long 11 kills and eight digs, Morris 36 assists, Edwards 6 kills