LANSING | From the corners of her eyes, Leah Lagestee smiled at a familiar face approaching through the post-game mosh Tuesday night at T.F. South.
"Tears of joy this time," she said, "instead of tears of frustration."
A 25-5, 25-16 win over T.F. North wiped away the loss last month at Lemont that caused that frustration, while ending the Rebels' 18-game winning streak and knocking them temporarily, from atop the standings in the South Suburban Blue.
Tuesday's win claimed a share of the league crown with the Porters, giving South its first conference crown since 2008.
"I'm just thankful that I found the best group of people I could possibly play with," Lagestee said. "It was great to finish out here on a positive note and a fun note."
Lagestee was one of a handful of stars for the Rebels (25-4, 13-1) against the overmatched Meteors (4-23, 1-13).
She had seven kills, two ace blocks and two service points, while Briana Lilly led the way with eight kills and Jenna Pasko had 11 service points.
T.F. North got three ace blocks and a pair of service points from Ester Fagbemi, while Tyra Johnson added two blocks.
Fitting for a senior night celebration, senior back row stalwarts Cori Reynolds and Ashtyn Kapovich went 6-for-7 and 7-for-10, respectively, passing, while Reynolds added 10 service points.
Senior setter Abbe Mullen had 18 assists and senior defensive specialist Justine Flores served five points.
"I can't even describe how close we are, on and off the court," Reynolds said. "Everybody -- we're all really, really close friends."
As if to demonstrate, the Rebels gathered for a post-game video tribute to their season.
Parents, friends and fans sat in the stands. The players slid into a pile on the floor in front of the projector, some with arms intertwined, others laying heads on teammates' laps.
Looking at her players, coach Kim Sands beamed.
"This has meant the world to me," she said. "I've been waiting for this for years. It's a great feeling. The girls have been working so hard. They really deserve it."
Next up for the Rebels is the Andrew Regional and a Tuesday contest against the winner of a play-in game between Richards and Washington.
South hasn't won a regional since 2004. The Rebels are the sixth seed in their sectional, and would face No. 3 Sandburg in a Halloween night a regional title match.
"One game at a time," Lagestee said. "We all have to be on our game, act as a team, and encourage each other when we get down."