Northeastern was the best team in the building on Saturday, Oct. 14, during play at the Hagerstown sectional. The Lady Knights, the regular season Tri-Eastern Conference champions, had to beat the teams that finished second and third in the TEC standings on the same day to win the title, and the girls in green and gold were up to the task.
Northeastern 3, Hagerstown 1
Union County opened semifinal play with an easy 3-0 win over Shenandoah to move to the title game and then watched as rivals Northeastern and Hagerstown fought it out for the right to play the Lady Patriots for the Championship.
The Knights dominated the first two sets winning 25-14 and 25-9. The second set was a mismatch. The Knights raced to a 19-3 lead and were never threatened, but the third set was completely different. The third set was tied five times, the last time at 11-11, before the Lady Tigers pulled away to take a 25-19 win.
The fourth set was tied at 1, 2 and 3 before the Knights took a lead they would never surrender. But the Knights could never pull away. The Tigers were still hanging around at 21-18, and later at 23-20, before the Knights scored back-to-back to win the set 25-20 and the match 3-1.
The Tigers finished their season with a record of 14-14.
It was the last high school match for Hagerstown seniors Kasiti Ferriell, Lindsey Golliher, Hattie Hobbs and Hannah Pyle.
Championship – Northeastern 3, Union County 1
The championship match between Northeastern and Union County was, in many respects, a near carbon copy of the Northeastern/Hagerstown game earlier in the day.
The Lady Knights won the first two sets by scores of 25-15 and 25-19 and were in complete control. The Patriots flipped the script in the third set winning 25-15.
The Lady Knights refocused and won a hard-fought fourth set 27-25 to win the sectional championship for the second year in a row. The Lady Knight players, without exception, filled their roles to help their team win, and senior Emma Neeley was the star of stars in both matches. Whenever the Knights needed a point or a stop, Neeley delivered.
The Patriots closed out their season with a record of 19-12. Northeastern improved to 23-7 on the year and will face Indianapolis Scecina Memorial on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Cascade regional.
A version of this article appeared in the October 18 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.