WASHINGTON TWP. | Winning ugly counts the same as winning pretty when it comes to advancing in the Porter County Conference tournament.
Morgan Twp. and Boone Grove took different approaches to their victories on Thursday night, but both counted the same as the Cherokees and Wolves advanced with 3-0 sweeps and will meet in the semifinals on Saturday at Washington Township.
The Cherokees struggled in the first and third games, but were still able to deliver a 26-24, 25-15, 25-20 win over LaCrosse in the tournament opener.
“For some reason, we’ve struggled to put teams away all season,” Morgan Twp. coach Matt Bien said. “Thankfully, we were able to get the win (Thursday) and that’s all that matters as we move on to the next round.”
Alison Goetz led Morgan Township (16-10) with nine kills as the junior outside hitter was instrumental in keeping up the energy level as the stubborn Tigers (4-24) clawed their way through the first game.
“We had those first-game jitters and we know we can do better than that,” Goetz said. “Our team needs to stay positive and we were able to do that.”
The Cherokees now have the most victories in a season since 2000.
“That means a lot to us,” Goetz said. “We want to prove everyone wrong and show that our team can do anything out there. We’re excited to keep going.”
Nicole Malouhos had 14 kills to pace Boone Grove as the Wolves (16-7) came out quick against South Central and kept firing in a 25-18, 25-20, 25-21 victory. Boone Grove had lost to the Satellites (23-6) earlier in the season.
“It was important for us to come out and get the first game,” Boone Grove coach Linda Eleftheri said. “When we played them earlier, they won the first game and then the second before we got one from them. I thought we moved the ball from the back row and we were able to maintain our offense.”
Briana Satoski had 11 kills to lead the Satellites, while Kaitlyn Jackson added seven kills and seven digs.
“I don’t think we were ready to play (Thursday),” South Central coach Ashley Rinker said. “We have to talk about this because this has happened the last three matches. This needs to be addressed.”
The opening round of the tournament resumes tonight as Kouts takes on host Washington Township in the opener and PCC newcomer Westville battles Hebron in the nightcap.