LAPORTE | The Valparaiso Vikings set two goals at the beginning of the season.
One was to go undefeated in the conference, but the Vikings lost to Lake Central earlier in the season. Their second goal was to win sectionals, and the Vikings came out full force to sweep LaPorte, 25-21, 25-16, 25-16.
"The whole team, all day we were in it to win it," Sara Clark said, who had 12 kills on the night.
Clark had the final kill that won the game for the Vikings.
"My sister set me up, which was pretty cool. I knew my power shot was the back corner, and I went back and killed it. There was no looking back."
In each game, the Slicers (22-14) took early leads, but the Vikings were able to come back and take control. Game 1 saw the Slicers take a 12-10 lead. The Vikings went on a 6-0 run to go ahead 16-12, and never lose the lead to win 25-21.
"Out of our senior group, three of the four are playing front row," Valparaiso coach Katie Lenard said. "And those kids were coming out full force tonight. All of them were, every single kid on the team. Our momentum was just rolling."
Game 2 saw the Vikings take their first lead at 11-10, and would go on a 7-2 run to pull away at 18-12. Carrie Clark had one kill and two serving aces during the run.
"She (Carrie) came out very strong, and dominated on the right side. She was ready to go before the game started," Lenard said.
The Vikings would take Game 2, 25-16.
LaPorte came out on a 4-0 after two Sierra Conklin kills. Valparaiso responded and tied the game at 9-9, then went on a 5-0 run to take a 14-9 lead. The Vikings had their largest lead of the night at 21-15 after a Sara Clark kill, and Valparaiso would go on a 4-1 run to win the final set, 25-16.
"We've been waiting for this, and looking forward to sectionals for a while now. This is what we wanted to happen," Lenard said. "Everyone did an amazing job. Even the kids that weren't playing did their part to stay excited on the bench."
"It's just a really big deal for us. We woke up today knowing we were going to get it," Clark said.
Carrie Clark added 12 kills for the Vikings (33-4), while Brigid Scannell had seven.
The Slicers were led by Sierra Conklin who had seven kills and two blocks. Megan Walls added six kills, and Amanda Brinkman had 5.
"Valpo's been the team to beat all year, they're stacked with athletes," LaPorte coach Karlee Lawson said. "I'm proud of Valpo, It's nice to see someone from our conference win the sectional. I know they'll go far."
Valparaiso defeated Chesterton in four sets in the first semifinal, 25-9, 25-20, 24-26, 25-15. Sara Clark led the Vikings with 15 kills and seven blocking assists. Brigid Scannell and Carrie Clark both added seven kills.
LaPorte swept Michigan City in the second semifinal, 24-22, 25-9, 25-21.