SJO volleyball wins, will play for state title


NORMAL — In St. Joseph-Ogden’s opening set against Belleville Althoff in the Class 2A state semifinals, things were not looking good for the Spartans.

“Obviously that’s not the way we wanted to come out. Losing 25-10 is not pretty, especially at state,” SJO senior Kylie Michael said.
SJO quickly rebounded winning the second set and dominating the third.  Spartans head Coach Abby McDonald credits the Spartans fierce comeback to the string of tough matchups SJO faced leading up to the tournament.
“Having one of the toughest sectionals in the state was going to benefit us if we could get out of it, and I think today was a prime example of that. Had we not in that position before, we could’ve easily fallen apart. But they knew they could still get it done if they lost that first set.” 
The Spartans will play Eureka in the Class 2A state title match Saturday at 12:55 p.m.  Meanwhile in 1A, Windsor Stew-Stras lost its first game to defending state champ Lanark Eastland.
“Normally we’re a screaming-yelling team, if any of you have watched us this year, and you didn’t see that as much today, and I think that feeds,” Hatchets head coach Ronda Schlechte said.  “As long as we can stay louder than the other team we are usually in pretty good shape. That’s where I think the fear took over.”
WSS gained momentum after winning the second set 27-25 but things turned in Eastland’s favor after that and the Hatchets never gained any momentum back. 
“We just couldn’t keep emotions up,” Hatchets senior Rebecca Schlechte said.  “We kept going up and down.  I think that’s really what hurt us.  When we were up, we were really up, but when we were down we were too far down.”
WSS will play Norris City-Omaha-Enfield in the Class 1A third place match Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

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