CENTERVIEW, Mo. – Bishop LeBlond dropped a heartbreaker in the Class 1 sectional round on Saturday, falling 2-1 (16-25, 25-21, 26-24) to Crest Ridge.
“We just started too slow and had trouble getting the momentum,” LeBlond coach Kim Huss said. “When we got the momentum back, mistakes got the better of us.”
A slow start saw the Lady Eagles get doubled up early in the first set, 13-6. LeBlond battled all the way back to within three, 18-15, only for Crest Ridge to end the set on a 6-1 run to take the set 25-16.
The Lady Eagles jumped out to a 6-1 lead in set two, then survived a 5-0 run Crest Ridge
LeBlond broke an 11-11 tie with a 3-0 run and never trailed after that. The Lady Cougars got within two, 23-21, in the waning points of the match, but LeBlond held fast to its lead, claiming the second set 25-21 to force what would be a thrilling third and decisive set.
“Being confident and playing the way that we know how to play,” Huss said on the change from set one to set two. “Coming into a sectional match-up and playing the home team, you know they are going to have more fans. We are two hours from home, it’s always going to be difficult to play. In between the two sets, we talked about being confident and just going and playing volleyball.”
LeBlond battled back from an early 5-1 hole to tie the game up at 14. Crest Ridge rallied to open up a 21-16 lead.
The Lady Eagles had one final run in them, battling all the way back to tie the set at 21-21.
Crest Ridge and LeBlond went back-and-fourth in the final three points, eventually coming to a 24-24 tie.
The Lady Cougars broke the tie with a kill by Regan Shippy then ended the match with a kill from Kyla Brandes.
“Shippy, she is a really powerful hitter,” Huss said.
Senior Juliann Smith wrapped up her Lady Eagles career with a team-high 16 kills and added two blocks.
Senior Kenna O’Riley dished out 26 assists while senior Gabriella Vigliaturo had a team-high 15 digs and a pair of aces. Junior Reagan Thompson also had two aces.
LeBlond finishes the season with a record of 21-11-2.
The Lady Eagles, who graduate six seniors off this year’s roster, claimed their ninth district championship in ten years, avenging last season’s district championship loss.