John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — The Stew-Stras Comet volleyball team kept on rolling as they took the spark out of Liberty’s lightning in a bottle, winning the Nokomis Super-Sectional championship on Saturday, 25-20, 24-26, 25-18.
The Comets took care of business in game 1, but Liberty wasn’t ready to surrender their Cinderella season. Liberty hadn’t won a sectional for over 15 years. They denied Stew-Stras the 2-set victory and won in OT, 26-24.
The glass slipper fell off in game 3, as the Comets scalded Liberty for the 7-point win, the Super-Sectional Championship and a trip to State.
Kendall Knop came up huge for the Comets, swinging for a season-high 18 kills. She added 10 digs for a double-double.
Senior Brittani Tabbert was awesome on defense, recording a season and match-high 15 digs. She also had 11 kills for her won double-double.
Freshman Becca Schlechte once again played like a veteran. She was strong at the net, a leader on defense and helped QB the offense.
Schlecht dished a team-high 22 assists. She also was efficient on defense, getting down for 12 digs. Schlechte also scored eight kills and rose up for 3 blocks for 11 net points for a triple-double.
Senior setter Baylee Quast’ 18 assists, combined with Schlechte’s assists for 40 assists for the Comets.
The Comets had a block party, recording eight blocks in the match. Freshman hitter Clara Kaufman had two blocks, Schlechte three, Quast one and Morgan Stremming two.
Stew-Stras also served up eight aces. Knop led the team with four aces. Kaufman served two and Schlechte and Tabbert had one, each.
“The girls are ecstatic about the win,” said Comet coach Ronda Schlechte. “Our voices will all be gone from the celebration. Dreams have come true! We’re looking forawrd to the Final Four experience.”
The Stew-Stras community was all out in support for the Comets at Super-Sectional.
“Thank you to Stewardson and Strasburg Fire Departments for escorting us home,” said Coach Schlechte. “Thank you to all who donated sponsorships, so that WMCI could come and broadcast the game live.”
Stew-Stras (27-12) plays new Athens in the Class A State semifinal round on Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Redbird Arena at Illinois State University in Normal.
Stew-Stras def. Liberty, 25-20, 24-26, 25-18
Stew stats: Becca Schlechte 1 ace, 8 kills, 22 assists, 12 digs, 3 blocks; Baylee Quast 3 kills, 18 assists, 6 digs, 1 block; Kendall Knop 4 aces, 18 kills, 10 digs; Brittani Tabbert 1 ace, 11 kills, 15 digs; Morgan Stremming 1 digs, 2 blocks; Sarah Locke 6 digs; Clara Kaufman 2 aces, 2 blocks.