ROYAL CENTER | Washington Twp. tried to put a rough start in the rear-view mirror and concentrate on a comeback attempt.
The Senators fell to Pioneer 25-10 in the first game of the Class A Pioneer Regional before dropping the next two games 25-15 and 25-21 as the Panthers captured the regional championship.
“I think the biggest thing today was our nerves and butterflies got a hold of us,” Washington Twp. coach Kevin Labaj said. “They’re a few inches taller than us in certain areas.”
After the Senators’ sectional championship win against Kouts, Labaj mentioned how his team’s serving had improved, especially in that match. Against Pioneer, the Senators had some trouble in that department.
“With serving, that had been one of our strong suits all year,” Labaj said. “We were really having trouble with our serves today.”
The Senators (22-11) kept the second game relatively close until Pioneer jumped ahead 21-13, effectively negating any hopes of a comeback attempt.
However, the Senators clawed at Pioneer with everything they could muster in the third game. Down just 8-7 early on, the Senators fell behind 21-15 before falling short.
“I got everything that I expected out of the girls, and more,” Labaj said. “They’ve done everything I’ve asked out of them all year long. I was very proud of them, win or lose, going into this match.”
The Senators lose only two seniors in Lindsay Henry and Ashley Hines.
“I feel very accomplished as a senior,” Henry said. “It’s tough to leave the team and all the people behind. With a new coach this year, we were all nervous at first, but it was great. I’ll never forget this season.”
Samantha Higgins led the Senators with six kills.