The Northwestern girls' volleyball program may still be in the infancy stage as it is entering only its second season of existence this fall.
On Monday night, they performed like a team that had been playing for decades.
The Lady Tigers welcomed Jim Thorpe for a non-league match-up where Northwestern came out on top 3-2 in a competitive, back-and-forth battle.
"We played really well and I feel that this was an important win for us to get," said Northwestern head coach Amilee Schillinger.
Schillinger was pleased to get the non-league win since this is the first time that Northwestern will have a league schedule as the Colonial League has five schools, including the Tigers, which have programs and will compete.
Out of the gate it was all Jim Thorpe as Northwestern was playing catch-up most of first game of the grueling match. Northwestern did crawl to within three before Jim Thorpe shut the door and took game one by a score of 25-21 thanks in large part to seven quality serves from Olympian senior Dara Conte.
The tide turned as the teams switched sides for game two. Northwestern got out to an early 10-4 lead and eventually 13-6 before Jim Thorpe called a timeout to regroup. Out of the huddle, the Olympians climbed back in to the game, but Northwestern's top setter, junior Nicole Generose, contributed in the serving game with three straight aces to push that lead to 19-11 and eventually the Tigers won game two 25-16 as team captain, senior Jennifer VonHolt, sliced an ace that skirted off the top of the net to notch that 25th point.
Game three sped by as Northwestern carried the momentum over from game two and scored early and often. The Tigers found themselves up 22-11 when junior Sarah Overstrom stepped to the line and served three straight aces to close out game three and place it in the win column for Northwestern.
Overstrom, who is a defensive specialist, totaled seven aces in the match.
"We were really happy to get this win," Overstrom said. "It was a good win for us and we hope to keep getting wins. Then hopefully we can get into districts and compete there."
Jim Thorpe (0-3) was out for revenge in game four and showed it on the scoreboard. It turned an early 8-3 lead into a 25-16 victory to tie the match and force the decisive game five.
Momentum swung back-and-forth in the final game before Overstrom's serve with a 15-14 lead produced the winning point for the Tigers.
Jim Thorpe head coach Erin Kuhn saw victories in Monday night's loss.
"I think this is the best we have played together as a team," said Kuhn. "The confidence level was up high during a few of the games and that was good to see."
Schillinger is looking forward to this season for the Tigers.
"I think we are more prepared this season," she said. "We aren't running around trying to throw together a team, so we are ready for a great season."