UNION MILLS | South Central could not keep Fort Wayne Blackhawk from stringing points together Tuesday night.
The Braves went on lengthy runs in each of their victorious sets as they beat the Satellites 25-14, 21-25, 25-19, 25-17 to win the Class A volleyball regional title.
“I told the team, ‘If we make mistakes, we’re going to be in trouble,’” South Central coach Ashley Rinker said. “That’s what happened. When you play a good team, you can’t dig yourselves a hole.”
South Central (26-6) led 14-12 in the fourth set, but the Braves closed out on a 13-3 run to claim the match.
Blackhawk had two spurts of five consecutive points during the spurt. Marta Bleed had seven kills and two assists in the set for the Braves (24-8).
A Briana Satoski kill and a Taylor Johnson block closed the Satellites to within 14-13 midway through the third set.
The Braves responded by scoring seven of the next 10 points to lead 21-16. South Central scored two in a row to get within three, but Blackhawk scored four of the last five points to take the set.
“We had a little hiccup,” Rinker said. “When you are playing a team as solid as they are, those little hiccups will cost you the match.”
South Central had a small lead throughout the second set, and after the Braves had trimmed the Satellite lead to 22-21, the Satellites capped the set with three consecutive points. Kaitlyn Jackson closed out the set with a kill.
“They played well,” Rinker said. “I thought we came in with a lot of heart, a lot of effort and a lot of want to win.”
Blackhawk used a 15-0 run in the opening set to build a commanding 16-3 lead.
Satoski led the Satellites with 11 kills. Jackson had eight kills and nine digs, while Katelyn Tucker added 16 assists.
South Central’s four seniors, Tucker, Satoski, Jackson and Taylor Johnson, bookended their careers with sectional titles in their freshmen and senior campaigns.
“They’ve been here since they’ve been freshmen, and they’ve been working hard all summer and all year,” Rinker said. I’m very proud of them.”