GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Bishop Noll's setters among tops in state in assists

2013-11-06T19:15:00Z 2013-11-07T11:31:07Z Bishop Noll's setters among tops in state in assistsHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com
November 06, 2013 7:15 pm  • 

HAMMOND | The two setters in Bishop Noll's 6-2 offense could not be more different.

Emily Johnson is a 5-foot-3 junior with two years of varsity volleyball experience. Brittany Anderson is a 6-foot freshman on her first high school team.

The pair have combined for more than 1,200 assists, enough to lead Class 2A statistically.

"I don't understand why everyone is surprised that we're doing as well as we are in Class 2A," Warriors coach Dave Rodriguez said. "We're No. 1 in kills, blocks, assists and aces in 2A."

Noll (30-9) will play Providence (35-4) for the Class 2A state championship at noon Saturday at Ball State University. The Warriors are the first team from Lake or Porter County to reach the title game. 

To set that No. 1 mark this season, Noll took its lumps and growing pains while training young setter Anderson. Johnson took over leadership duties.

"It's two different types of players," Rodriguez said. "Emily Johnson is a fiery, tough, quick setter. Brittany is a full, very methodical setter. Both have really good hands and both understand where to put the ball for the hitters."

The 6-2 offense means that there are two setters on the floor at any given time, and the one in the back row typically takes the first set.

"I like the 6-2, because if I don't get the ball, I can trust that (Anderson) will get to it," Johnson said.

Johnson leads the team with 602 assists, including 19 in the semistate championship against Woodlan.

Anderson has 500 assists and is third on the team in blocks with 27, allowing the Warriors to use her as an additional front-row threat.

Not that Noll needs more hitters up front, with Carly Cappello (564 kills), Asya Hobbs (395 kills) and Carissa Jones (245 kills).

"(Height) is a difficult thing when you have a 6-foot setter and a 5-3 setter," Rodriguez said. "The ball is delivered differently based on their different height. They know what it is they have to do and they know these hitters very well. They have to adjust what they do to put the ball based on the hitter."

"I've learned that I can't always match Emily's sets, but mine have to come close," Anderson said. "They've experienced Emily's sets before, and I've had to adjust to them and learn what the hitters wanted and how Emily set the ball, so now they're just big sisters that I have to look up to."

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