WASHNGTON TOWNSHIP | The Senators finally got their plaque.
Class A No. 5 Washington Township downed No. 2 Pioneer 25-19, 25-14, 11-25, 25-19, to win its first regional title in school history Tuesday.
The Senators advance to the Caston Semistate, where they will face the winner of the Wes-Del Regional.
"We said we want the plaque on the wall," said Washington Township coach Scott Campbell. "Everything we've done thus far in the season means nothing without this game. They played phenomenal tonight."
The match marked the third straight year the two squads have met in the regional, with Pioneer winning each of the first two match-ups.
Washington Township (32-6) used two runs of four points to open up leads of 15-9 and 23-16 in the fourth set. Kerry Uhrina clinched the championship with a kill. Vickie Flanders, who had a team-high 17 kills in the match, had seven in the set.
"I'm so excited," Flanders said. "We have been waiting for this for four years."
The Senators used a 13-5 run to break an 11-11 tie and take the opening set. Five Washington Township players had a kill during the spurt. Uhrina totaled five kills, a block, and an ace in the set.
"They did a nice job putting pressure on our serve receive," Pioneer coach Rod Nies said. "We just couldn't get anything going offensively."
Washington Township had an early 11-5 lead in the second set, and then used a run of eight points to build a 19-8 lead. Raegan Werner closed out the set with an ace.
"To go up two to zero was huge for our mental confidence," Campbell said.
The Panthers (30-6) took a quick 5-1 lead in the third set and led by as many as 15 on their way to the win. Hillary Sharp had five kills in the set for Pioneer.
"I told them we need a very short memory," Campbell said. "The game is over. You're up two games to one, and they need to come out and beat us. That was our mentality, and we came out with some positive thoughts, and it was a positive outcome."
Uhrina finished with 12 kills, three blocks, and two aces for the Senators. Werner added 15 assists, nine kills, two blocks, and an ace, and Caitlyn Lembke had 11 assists and an ace.
Gabriel Dunlap led Pioneer with 10 kills, two blocks and two aces. Sharp had seven kills, and Cortney Hanson added 18 assists, five kills, and three aces.