SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
The Stewardson Trinity Cardinals ran the table at the 2013 LSA State Volleyball Tournament last weekend and were crowned LSA State Champions. The team known as "Little Red," with a school enrollment of just 51, also boasted the tournament MVP, Megan Schlechte.
In 2012, Trinity took 2nd place and in 2001 they took 3rd place. Last weekend, they captured their first LSA state title. To get the championship they had to upset two teams that had recently beaten them.
In the semi finals, the Cardinals had to face Christ, Peoria, who recently had taken 3rd place over Trinity at the Christ, Peoria Tournament in early October. Trinity came back from a dismal first set to win in 3, 12-25, 25-15, 25-21.
“Christ has defeated us multiple times in the last several years, so this win was huge for us.” Said Coach Ronda Schlechte. “The girls really had to fight hard for this one! Playing ‘smart’ volleyball does pay off and that is one thing the girls have. It is taught at a young age and they use it against the bigger teams. This actually felt like the ‘Championship Win’ – it was that tough!”
Megan Schlechte led Trinity with 24 kills.
"The digs were spread across the team," Coach Schlechte said. "Everyone was involved with this win."
The championship match was held on Sunday, against Zion, Belleville, who had also beaten Trinity in the Peoria Tournament. The Cardinal’s went 3 sets in another nail-biter match, 25-14, 19-25, 25-18.
Trinity easily took game 1. They were down 5-13 early in game 2, before they started catching some breaks, but it was too late. Trinity led the 3rd game the entire game except for a brief moment, when Zion tied at point 9. The Cardinal’s took off on a roll and Belleville couldn’t catch up.
Schlechte led with 23 kills and 6 aces, while Calla Roney led with 17 digs and Jocelyn Schultz with 32 assists. Once again, the digs were spread out with Schlechte leading with 15, Schultz 7, Anna Schlechte 6, Martina Gratz 10, and Kelsey Beitz 9.
“You look at our team playing and you see my 7th graders doing the bulk of everything," said Coach Schlechte. "But it takes all 6 players to win a game. We strategize with getting the ball to my 2 hitters, Calla & Megan, but it doesn’t always fall into place and the rest of the team has to be ready. They all did what they needed to do and I am so proud of all of them!”
The 26th Annual Lutheran Sports Association’s State Volleyball Tournament was held in Springfield, November 1-3.
"Who would have thought a school of just 51 could compete in this 24 team tournament let alone bring home the Championship Banner, two All-State Players (both 7th graders), and the MVP of the Tournament," Coach Schlechte said. "The team known as ‘Little Red’ because of their size, has the determination and courage to overpower teams that tower over them not only in size but age. Trinity is made up of 1-8th grader, 3-7th graders, 1-6th grader, and 1-5th grader."
The Cardinal’s started off the tournament on Friday defeating Bethel, Morton (25-17, 25-19), Pilgrim, Chicago (25-7, 25-8), and Immanuel, Freeport (25-18, 25-13) to get 1st in Pool Play advancing them to the top 8.
In Quarter Finals, Trinity fought past Immanuel, East Dundee in 3 sets (21-25, 25-14, 25-15), where Calla Roney led with 20 kills, followed closely by Megan Schlechte with 18 kills and 27 digs. Jocelyn Schultz dished out 33 assists between the two.
Calla Roney and Megan Schlechte made the 10 player All-State Team with Megan receiving the MVP Award.
“As 7th graders this is awesome!" Coach Schlechte said. "A 7th grader taking the MVP Award at an 8th grade State Tournament is something to be very proud of and to remember for years to come.
Trinity has only a handful of girls make the All State Team in the past. They are Joni Giertz and Megan Jack- 2001, Kendall Knop- 2009 & 2010, Becca Schlechte- 2012.
"This is quite an honor!" Coach Schlechte said. "This is also the first time for Trinity to call themselves the LSA State Champions."
Pool Play: 1st-Trinity def. Bethel, Morton, 25-17, 25-19; def. Pilgrim, Chicago 25-7, 25-8; def. Immanuel, Freeport 25-18, 25-13
Quarterfinals: Trinity def. East Dundee, 21-25, 25-14, 25-15
Semifinals: Trinity def. Christ, Peoria, 12-25, 25-15, 25-21
Championship: Trinity def. Zion, Belleville, 25-14, 19-25, 25-18
Trinity stats: Kelsey Beitz- 36 pts, 9 aces, 3 kills, 23 digs; Megan Schlechte- 63 points, 18 aces, 88 kills, 65 digs, 8 assists, 4 blocks; Calla Roney- 86 points, 29 aces, 62 kills, 61 digs, 6 assists; Jocelyn Schultz- 66 pts, 13 aces, 3 kills, 25 digs, 141 assists; Martina Gratz- 63 pts, 6 aces, 1 kill, 27 digs, 1 assist; Anna Schlechte- 37 pts, 4 aces, 1 kill, 28 digs; Rachel Kessler- 1 pt, 1 kill; Claire Moomaw- 1 kill