Haley Berry skies for a kill for the Western Lady Panthers in the IHSAA Class 3A Western Volleyball Sectional championship match. The Panthers fell to Benton Central 3-1. (Herald Photos/Dean Hockney)
Haley Berry skies for a kill for the Western Lady Panthers in the IHSAA Class 3A Western Volleyball Sectional championship match. The Panthers fell to Benton Central 3-1. (Herald Photos/Dean Hockney)
It was a tough week for the five Howard County volleyball squads – four of the teams lost its first match of the sectional in straight sets while Western advanced to the finals before losing.

For the Lady Panthers, the Class 3A Sectional 20 (at Western) started with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Northwestern (29-27, 25-22, 15-25, 22-25, 15-11). In the semifinals, Western defeated Twin Lakes 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-16). Benton Central then upset West Lafayette 3-2 to advance to the finals, where the Lady Bison defeated the Lady Panthers 3-1 (16-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-11).

At the Class 4A Sectional 7 at Zionsville, Kokomo fell to No. 10 Zionsville 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-18). Zionsville would win the title 3-0 over McCutcheon as the Lady Kats finished 17-15.

“I was proud of our effort as we had several adversities to overcome late in the season and the girls responded when challenged,” said Lady Kats head coach Jason Watson. 

Our three seniors can hold their head up high as they competed until the very last whistle of their high school careers. Our returning players can see how fast and explosive the games are played at the higher level and see what we need to do to get to get there.”

The Class 2A Sectional 39 at Madison-Grant featured two of the top teams in the state – and Howard County squads met those two teams in the opening round. No. 6 Alexandria defeated Eastern 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-17) and No. 5 Madison-Grant defeated Taylor 3-0 (25-8, 25-2, 25-6). In a thrill semifinal, Alexandria knocked off Madison-Grant 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 28-26, 18-25, 15-11) and went on to beat Elwood 3-0 to claim the title.