It was an emotional night for the Burris Owls as it was the final time the seniors would hit the home court. As each upperclassmen was introduced, tears fell for many of the players saying goodbye. But they couldn’t dwell on the emotions as the Bearcats of Muncie Central (8-14) awaited the showdown with the Owls (22-3).
The matchup between the two inner-city rivals started out as good as fans could hope. The score was even for most of the first set, and the energy from both sides was evident. Neither team seemed to budge, but with efforts from seniors Layla Gonzales and Aubrey Miller, the Owls were able to gain the upper hand and win the first set 25-23.
Despite it being senior night, there were some underclassmen who displayed their skills as well. Sophomore Mya Trammell and freshman Ja’Maria Jackson both put on a show with multiple diving efforts and blocks. .
Burris head coach Jim Craig had high praise for the underclassmen and is hopeful for a bright future.
“We’re really fortunate,” Craig said. “Mya is only a sophomore, and Ja’Maria is going to be a force. Those guys really help solidify [the team] and the older kids feed off of them too.”
It was more of the same to start the second set with both sides not giving an inch. Junior Lilly Howell subbed in mid-way through the second set and turned the tide for the Owls as she dominated on both sides of the ball.
“I’ve had really good training over the past couple of years,” Howell said. “If it wasn’t for my passers and setters [on offense], I wouldn’t be able to hit the ball.”
However, Howell wasn’t the only one who had success as senior Aubrey Miller showed off her power in her kill attempts allowing the Owls to begin slowly pulling away.
The blue and white were locked in a tight match through the first set and a half. But with the help of Howell and Miller, the Owls pulled away late in the set to take a 2-0 lead over the Bearcats.
Burris never seemed to look back after they took the lead in the 2nd set. The Owls continued their momentum into the third set and had everything going their way to lead them to the sweep of the Bearcats as they finished the final set winning 25-11.
There was no shortage of support for the Owls in tonight's emotional match. The crowd was loud, the student section was going wild, and the energy in Ball Gymnasium was unmatched.
“Having big crowds means everything,” Miller said. “We feed off that energy so having those big crowds the last couple of years has helped us play.”
With the sweep tonight, the Owls improve to 23-3 on the season and close out the regular season on the road against Pendleton Heights (18-11) on Wednesday, Oct. 4th, and Yorktown (21-5) on Saturday, Oct. 7th in the regular season finale.
Contact David Moore with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on X @gingninjs63