The New Palestine volleyball team opened conference play Thursday with a five-set back-and-forth victory over county and HHC rival Greenfield-Central.
The Dragons, ranked No. 10 in Class 3A, won 25-20, 21-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-7 to improve to 8-1 on the year and 1-0 in the HHC.
All of the first four sets were back-and-forth affairs, but the Dragons jumped ahead quickly in the fifth set, behind a service run by Katlyn Keele, some outstanding defense and several key kills by sophomore Allison Dennemann. NP jumped ahead 5-0 and 9-2 and never looked back.
The victory was buoyed by one of the largest and most enthusiastic crowds in the program’s recent history, including a full student section.
Dennamenn had 30 kills, 19 digs and three aces. Junior setter Kara Morris had 59 assists, eight digs and five kills. Keele had 17 kills, seven digs and two aces, and sophomore Mia Long had 12 kills and seven digs.
“As always it was a classic battle between two rival schools. We had players with huge numbers and our student section was incredible,” Dragon coach Kelli Whitaker said. “Last year we had 3 students, this year we had at least 100. It created a great environment for our girls. I’m proud that all three teams came out with a victory tonight.”
The Dragon freshman team won, and the JV team posted a 21-25, 25-21, 15-13 victory.
NP next plays Tuesday at Eastern Hancock, followed by a Wednesday trip to Lutheran.