Champaign Central volleyball falls in regional title game | Sports

BLOOMINGTON – Champaign Central turned the tide on Normal West at the start of the first set of Thursday’s Bloomington Class 3A Regional Championship game.

The top seeded Wildcats had beaten the fourth seeded Maroons earlier in the season using low speed shots in their offense. Central defense were ready for this approach and were leading halfway through the first set.

Then Averie Hernandez arrived. The Normal West outside hitter bound for the northwest kicked in and the Wildcats beat 25-17, 25-18 for the regional title.

“She gained her confidence halfway through the first set and was just coming out of the gym hitting over our block,” center coach Justin Tomaska ​​said of Hernandez. “We really had no answer to that. They just had a huge race. She just picked up the game when she needed it.

“We just had to play our perfect match. Our children are amazing. When someone this good gets into the beat, it’s hard to stop them. She played excessively. Our children wanted it just as much. We struggled in a rotation and couldn’t get out of it. We have tried a bunch of different things. That change of momentum halfway through the first set really hurt.

Solid serve helped Central take the lead in the first set. The same goes for the Maroons’ defense against Normal West’s tip-kill strategy. Olivia Gustafsson led Central (24-12) with 14 assists in the loss, Sydnie Williams had seven digs and five assists, Brianna Beckler posted four assists and Meg Rossow finished with three assists.

“There has been so much improvement from every child – these seniors in particular,” said Tomaska. “They worked their buttocks. They did everything and we asked them for more. They fought in every game. The only thing you control is your effort, and they always gave it for us.

At Mahomet

Normal U-High 2, Mahomet-Seymour 0. Mahomet-Seymour coach Stan Bergman had a good feeling for his squad heading into Thursday night’s Class 3A regional championship game against Normal U-High.

The third-seeded Bulldogs had performed well late in the season in high-profile games against Pleasant Plains, Macomb and Hartsburg-Emden, in addition to running their affairs throughout the Apollo conference.

So what happened Thursday against U-High was a surprise. The second-seeded Pioneers swept 25-18, 25-23 to end Mahomet-Seymour’s season on home soil.

“We were making a lot of pass mistakes – just stupid mistakes,” Bergman said. “In a regional title game against a good team like Normal U-High, there isn’t a lot of room for mistakes. All they had to do was get the ball back on our side.

Bergman could not determine where his team’s struggles emanated from Thursday night. It was contrary to how the Bulldogs (31-6) had played most of the season.

“We just couldn’t find a rhythm,” said Bergman. “We just weren’t playing very well. “

Mahomet-Seymour rose to the challenge in the second set. The Bulldogs beat the Pioneers by five, 10 and 15 points on the scoreboard.

“We were actually up five points at one point, but we started wasting points by making mistakes and they took advantage,” said Bergman. “We just let too many balls hit the ground. “

Avery Allen led Muhammad-Seymour with eight kills and eight digs. Maddie Gaede finished with eight assists and Haylie Orton had two assists, two blocks, two aces and an assist.

“They achieved a lot of the goals they set for themselves at the start of the season which was fantastic,” Bergman said of his team. “Overall this season I think they have done well.”

Scott Richey is a journalist covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is [email protected], and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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