In the final point of the sectional championship, Trinity Lutheran senior Whitney Rogers put an exclamation mark to the finish.
Rogers locked-in and launched an ace, and the Cougars’ bench jumped up and down and the players on the floor mirrored in the center of the court.
Class A Sectional 61 went to the Cougars, as they defeated Orleans 25-19, 25-14, 25-8 at West Washington on Saturday in the championship bought.
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Earlier in the day, the Cougars swept Borden 25-10, 25-12, 25-17 in the semifinals.
In the first set of the title match, the teams tied eight times.
Every time the Cougars went up by two or three, the Bulldogs came right back.
Tied at 19-19, Sophia Stahl served six straight winning points to close the opening set.
Trinity Lutheran coach Chelsea Stroub admitted the team looked nervous to start the match.
“We had girls shaking — they were definitely nervous for this second match,” This morning it wasn’t as bad, but I think it set in that it was actually the championship. They finally calmed down after we got the first one after our way.”
A kill by Hailley Peters put the Cougars up 7-4, and after taking an 11-6 advantage OHS called a timeout.
Following the break, the Cougars won four straight points behind a pair of aces from Peters.
Kills from Sydney Stahl, Lexi Schneider and Hannah Sabotin propelled the Cougars to a 23-14 lead before they closed the set at 25-14.
“They went up, were confident and did a good job of keeping the ball in play,” Stroub said of the front line. “They were ready to play tonight, but that also comes from our passing and setting.”
Rogers served-up seven consecutive winning points as the Cougars went up 7-1 to start the third set.
Trinity would build their lead to 17 points within the set, and hold onto that advantage as they cruised to the victory.
Stahl pounded 12 hits with seven kills and Peters slammed 20 with 10.
Rogers and Peters each had three aces, and the Cougars finished 72-for-74 with seven aces on serves.
“We had some great serves and our serve receive was on, too,” Stroub said. “As soon as our serve receive was on everything else clicks. We can run everything we want to do and get more hits.”
On Tuesday, Trinity Lutheran (16-19) will travel to Class A No. 1 Christian Academy of Indiana (New Albany) for a regional matchup.
The Cougars have fallen to the Warriors the past two seasons.
“We had a really rough schedule, so having these last three wins at the end of the season is awesome going into Tuesday,” Stroub said. “We need good passing and hard serves — with that, everything else comes together.”