By GREG MENGELT
A night after falling to Class 4A No. 13 Floyd Central in five sets, Class 2A No. 2 Providence went to Columbus and knocked off 4A No. 3 East in five sets, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 17-25, 16-14 on Wednesday.
“I can’t say enough about the resilience of this team,” Pioneers coach Terri Purichia said. “To play two five-[set] matches back-to-back, especially with the travel, I would say it’s pretty impressive to beat a team as strong as Columbus East.
“I’m really, really proud of this team. They played huge.”
Purichia said there were several opportunities for her 30-4 Pioneers to quit after a hard-fought rivalry match the night before.
“There were many, many times we were on the line, but they had tunnel vision and played focused,” she said. “This is a huge victory for us against a quality opponent in their home gym.”
Patricia Mattingly led the way for the Pioneers with 49 assists, 21 digs, three aces and a block. Offensively, Haley Libs finished with 20 kills and a block, Taylor Wilson had 19 kills and five blocks and Jacquie Hornung contributed with 11 kills, three aces and a block.
Defensively, Abby Spitznagel added 16 digs and Kylie Flanagan 12 to Mattingly’s 21.
“We played defense like we haven’t all year,” Purichia said, “and our hitters really showed up to play.”
Providence is off until next week’s Class 2A Henryville Sectional when the heavily-favored Pioneers face Paoli in the second semifinal on Oct. 20.
• Dragon seniors end with win: In the final home game of their careers, three Silver Creek Dragons ended with a 25-8, 25-9, 25-17 win over Corydon Central on Wednesday.
Haley Garr had 11 kills and five aces, Sammi Smith nine assists, five kills, seven digs and three aces and Alex Carlton had a Silver Creek-best 11 digs. All are seniors.
“All three players have been on the varsity since their freshman year,” Dragons coach Jeff Zimmerman said. “They have a 103-43 record over four years, including two sectional championship, two regional championships and a state appearance. Their leadership and commitment to the program will be tough to replace.”
The win gave Silver Creek second place in the Mid-Southern Conference. Over the past four years, the Dragons are 32-4 in MSC play.
Morgan Reining added eight kills and Liz Mann led the Dragons with seven aces in the win.
“Tonight was a total team effort,” Zimmerman said.
NEXT: Silver Creek at Henryville, tonight.
• Jeff falls on Senior Night: Jeffersonville dropped a five-set heartbreaker against Southwestern — 25-23, 26-28, 15-25, 25-15, 15-11 — on Senior Night Wednesday.
Jena Reinhardt had 42 assists to lead the Devils. Avery Brumit finished with a team-bests with 13 kills and a pair of blocks, and Samantha Grider added nine kills and Hannah Samuel eight for Jeff. Marley Edwards had led Jeff with 23 digs, followed by Shelby Rose’s 13.
NEXT: Jeff vs. Floyd Central, Thursday, Oct. 18 at Class 4A Seymour Sectional.