The Crestview Lady Knights celebrate following their win over Lincolnview on Tuesday night. (DHI Media/Sarah Harris)
The Crestview Lady Knights celebrate following their win over Lincolnview on Tuesday night. (DHI Media/Sarah Harris)

CONVOY — In the latest chapter of the storied rivalry between Crestview and Lincolnview, the Lady Knights came out on top to claim a share of the NWC title — their first finish at the peak of the conference standings since 2018.

“It’s an awesome feeling to come out here and get this win,” said Crestview Head Coach Tammy Gregory. “The girls wanted it so bad and it showed out there. It’s been a long time since we’ve been at the top of conference, so this was a nice reward for us.”

“We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a battle,” Gregory continued. “Lincolnview is a dominant team in everything that they do and this is such a great rivalry, but I thought our girls came to play tonight.”

Crestview took Tuesday night’s match in three straight sets by final scores of 25-23, 25-11 and 25-20.

With the win, the Lady Knights now share a three-way split of the NWC crown with Lincolnview and Leipsic.

“I thought we made too many uncharacteristic errors tonight and Crestview took advantage of the opportunities that we gave them,” said Lincolnview Head Coach JaNahn Evans. “They (Crestview) played a great game, and although it wasn’t the result we were looking for, clinching a share of the NWC title is still a great accomplishment for our team.”

Myia Etzler led the way on the stat sheet for Crestview with 13 kills and two blocks. She also went 18/19 on serves with two aces.

“Myia was great tonight and she’s really come along toward the end of the season,” said Gregory. “We want the ball to find her often, especially when she’s playing with as much confidence as she is right now.”

Etzler tipped in Crestview’s first point of the opening set, then Brynn Putman gave the Lady Knights their first lead of the evening at 2-1 on an ace — a lead they never gave up on the way to 25-23 opening set victory.

Lincolnview tied the game four times at points 15, 16, 17 and 18 before Crestview pulled away with six straight points on a run that was capped off by a kill from Laci McCoy.

McCoy finished with 10 kills and three blocks in the contest.

The second set was a fully dominant performance in by the home team.

Crestview scored 14 of the first 20 points, and even opened up a 10 point lead at 18-8.

Etzler and McCoy combined for 10 kills in the 25-11 set win as time and time again, a strong serve-receive game set up strong opportunities at the net for the Lady Knights.

“Our passing was key,” said Gregory. “We’ve worked hard on that aspect because we know that defense wins battles.”

Ellie Kline’s nine digs and Adelyn Figley’s six digs headlined the Crestview defense which allowed setter Cali Gregory to dish out a game-high 26 assists.

Gregory also went 19/20 on serves with four aces, blocked three balls and added five kills.

Crestview fought off Lincolnview for good with a six-point run in the third set courtesy of two kills from McCoy and an ace from Etzler that took it from 6-5 in favor or Lincolnview to an 11-6 Crestview game.

From that point on, Lincolnview never managed to tie or take the lead again before the Lady Knights closed out the match with a 25-20 third set win.

For Lincolnview, Kendall Bollenbacher led the way with 13 kills and 13 digs.

Breck Evans and Ashlyn Price combined for 29 assists, and McKayla Blankemeyer had three blocks.

Lincolnview has one game remaining on their regular season schedule in a Saturday matchup with Miller City. Their overall record is now 15-5.

Crestview finishes their regular season with a mark of 16-6. Both teams ended with a record of 7-1 in NWC play.

In the tournament draw, third-seeded Crestview will face off against the winner of Fort Recovery and St. John’s, while second-seeded Lincolnview awaits the winner of Wayne Trace and Lima Perry.

Both games will take place on Thursday Oct. 21 at Lincolnview High School.