SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Stew-Stras volleyball (28-12) blitzed New Athens on Friday morning at the Class A State Tournament semifinals, 25-12, 25-23, to advance to the Class A State Championship match on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
The Comets perservered through the long regular season and National Trail Conference season. Stew-Stras finished 2nd in the conference only to 2A St. Anthony, which went as far as the Elite Eight, but lost in their Super-Sectional match-up.
The Comets were still standing after winning their regional, winning their sectional and claiming their super-sectional title.
Stew-Stras played the second of two state semifinals on Friday morning and faced New Athens.
New Athens came in to the match at 28-9, after losing in their regional final last year. New Athens had only one senior on their squad this year, so they were an up-and-coming team that also persevered.
All that went south quickly for the Lady Jackets on Friday in the state semifinal.
New Athens was active early, but had two kills and two misses to leave a tied score at 2-2. Then Brittani Tabbert swung for the first Comet kill and a lead they would never surrender in game 2.
Tabbert Killed again for a 5-3 lead, but New Athens would tied it at 5-5. Stew-Stras then went on an 8-3 run. Sophomore Clara Kaufman hit a kill, then Kendall Knop had her first kill for an 8-5 lead.
Setter Baylee Quast had a kill, but then New Athens came back to within a point at 9-8.
Knop killed to give Kaufman the serve. She smoked an ace. Quast killed again and Morgan Stremming swung for a kill for the 13-8 Comet lead. A service error gave New Athens their only point during a Comet 9-1 run.
Knop heated up and smacked three kills in four points. Quast was serving and Tabbert swung for another kill to double-up the Jackets, 18-9.