CHESTERTON | Watching Chesterton students storm from the stands after a big win over Valparaiso is starting to become the latest trend in the storied rivalry between the two schools.
The Trojans had every reason to celebrate Thursday night after the Chesterton volleyball team completed an improbable comeback to knock off the Times No. 2 Vikings 23-25, 19-25 26-24, 25-23, 17-15.
Chesterton was down to its final point on four occasions, including twice in the fifth game, but the Trojans pulled out the victory which brought droves of students onto the floor, similar to the scene last Friday when Chesterton knocked off the Vikings in football.
"I watched the football team last week, and I was so jealous of them for getting that win," Chesterton senior Katie Urycki said. "It feels so good that we were able to get that same experience, and I can't say enough about the fan support that we had tonight."
The last time the Trojans met the Vikings on the volleyball court, Chesterton coach TR Harlan refrained from comment following a three-game Valparaiso sweep earlier this season.
Elation, not frustration, kept the words in Harlan's throat Thursday night as the longtime coach surveyed the scene that included plenty of tears from his players.
"This week has been the first time all year that I truly felt the seniors started to feel the urgency," Harlan said. "They always thought there was tomorrow, that they would do things tomorrow, and now they are realizing that now is the time."
The Trojans started the night strong, jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the first game, but the Vikings maintained their composure and pulled out a 25-23 victory. Valparaiso took control of the second game and looked like it would pull out its second sweep of the season over the Trojans with a 24-23 lead in the third game, but Chesterton rallied with three straight points.
The Trojans continued their late game rallies by breaking a 23-23 tie in the fourth game to win 25-23 and then twice avoiding defeat on game point in the fifth and deciding game to pull out a 17-15 victory.
Urycki led the Trojans (13-5, 6-3 DAC) with 18 kills and 22 digs, while Shelby Ruffner had 12 kills and five block kills.
"No matter what happens the rest of the season, I will always remember this night," Urycki said.