ST. JOHN | The back of Munster's volleyball team T-shirts read: #fearless.
The team chose that after its season-ending, five-set loss to Lake Central in last year's sectional championship.
The song was the same with a different final verse on Tuesday night after Times No. 1 Munster beat No. 2 Indians 25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 22-25, 15-12.
L.C. (4-3) opened the first set winning eight of the first 11 points thanks to four unforced Mustangs errors.
Munster toughened up and took control of the game by winning 10 of the next 13, as the Indians made five unforced errors on the last 10 rallies.
In the second set, Munster (3-0) converted on 11 of the first 13 points, including three kills from senior middle hitter Elizabeth Kloos. Fellow senior Shannon Farrell added five kills and an ace.
"It's nice to have experience because three of our girls are three-year starters," Munster coach Tracy Summers said. "They've been here in a lot of tough situations including tonight and the whole team has a never-say-die attitude."
Lake Central grabbed a 19-13 lead to start the third game, providing enough cushion to cut the match to a 2-1 deficit.
Munster did cut it to 19-16, but Farrell fell short on a spike attempt on a rally that lasted a little over two minutes, which was by far the longest one of the match.
Munster committed four unforced errors after that and LC sophomore middle hitter Victoria Gardenhire had a huge cut shot kill at the end of the set.
Neither team could score consecutive points in the fourth set until L.C. scored five of six when it was down 17-16. Munster took the next three, but three combined kills by Gardenhire and Megan Malatestinic finished off the 'Stangs and even the match at two games apiece.
Munster took 11 of the first 16 points in the deciding fifth game, which provided enough room to work with in finishing off the host Indians.
"When you have a 15-point set, you must snatch the lead early," L.C. coach Tina Tinberg said. "We can recognize some of our weaknesses now, but our defense is amazing. We're starting to build some chemistry and leadership with this group."