Due to weather related issues, in some areas there may be delayed deliveries of your Monday issue of the NewsTribune.
If road conditions are severe enough, your delivery person may not be able to deliver your NewsTribune at all on Monday.
In this case, your Monday edition will be delivered with your Tuesday newspaper.
We ask you to be understanding for the safety of our carriers.
Members of the La Salle-Peru volleyball team celebrate after beating Morris 25-9, 25-27, 28-26 in the Class 3A Streator Regional final Thursday. It is the Lady Cavaliers’ third consecutive regional title and sixth in the last seven years. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
Above: La Salle-Peru junior Cierra Johnson (No. 35) hits the ball as Morris senior Abby Baker tries to block her Thursday during the Lady Cavaliers’ 25-9, 25-27, 28-26 victory in the Class 3A Morris Regional championship. L-P (31-3) advances to face Sterling (27-7) at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the first Princeton Sectional semifinal. NewsTribune photos/Chris Yucus
STREATOR — The La Salle-Peru volleyball team wore its usual Halloween costume Thursday.
The Lady Cavaliers were once again regional champions.
No. 1-seeded L-P squeaked by No. 3-seeded Morris 25-9, 25-27, 28-26 to win the Class 3A Streator Regional.
It is the Lady Cavs’ third consecutive regional championship, their sixth in the seven years and the 14th under coach Mark Haberkorn.
“We wanted to keep the tradition going,” L-P junior Cierra Johnson said. “To be part of that tradition is just great. It’s just not letting the volleyball program down. It’s awesome.”
L-P (31-3) advances to face Sterling at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the first Princeton Sectional semifinal. Sterling beat Belvidere 25-21, 25-9 in the Stillman Valley Regional.
The Lady Cavs beat the Lady Golden Warriors (27-7) twice in three sets during the regular season.
L-P appeared poised to punch it sectional ticket in two sets as it dominated the opener, led 15-10 in the second set and even faced match point up 25-24 before Morris pulled it out with a kill and two L-P errors.
The third set was even tighter as neither team led by more than four points and each team were on the verge of match point at least once before back-to-back Morris errors gave L-P the plaque.
“We played probably our best set of the year in Game 1,” Haberkorn said. “Then Game 2 we were up 15-10 then all of a sudden ‘Big Mo’ (momentum) switched to Morris’ side and they just played phenomenal. They got every ball up that they didn’t earlier.
“Game 3 was a nail biter. Championship teams find ways to win. It was a grind, but every time we got down we answered the bell, and I give the girls a lot of credit. They showed heart, they showed determination and they showed a lot of guts out there.”
Johnson put down a kill to tie the third set at 21-21 and a Lady Redskin error led to Morris coach Jackie Litwiller calling a timeout.
Out of the break, L-P’s Shanna Puetz slammed down a kill to put L-P up 23-21. Morris responded with a kill from Kaylin Korte, and then an error by L-P led Haberkorn to call timeout.
L-P had four hits on the next volley to put its back against the wall down 25-24, but Ellie Senica put down a kill and Jenessa Huebbe served up an ace to put the Lady Cavs ahead 25-24.
Morris’ Cara Cummings had a kill to tie the set at 25-25, then in an odd sequence, L-P was called for a net violation to put Morris up 26-25 and then the Lady Redskins had the wrong player serve to tie the match at 26-26 before the consecutive Morris errors ended the match.
“We realized we fell behind, so we had to pull ourselves together,” senior Rachel Hunt said. “I think we do a good job of that. We know when it’s time to win. “We just have to put everything in the past and focus on the present. We kept going point by point and eventually we won.”
Johnson led the Lady Cavalier offense with 12 kills, Hunt had 10, Puetz contributed eight and Taylor Gibson added seven.
Katie Olson orchestrated the offense with 32 assists.
“Katie Olson just does a fantastic job of moving the ball around,” Haberkorn said. “It’s hard to tell where she’s going. We know where she’s going because we see her everyday, but she doesn’t give it away (to the opponent). She has great form, great technique and has a great volleyball IQ. She seems to make the right play at the right time.”
Hunt led the defense at the net with six blocks, while Puetz had 15 digs and Turczyn added 11.
“You don’t win with just offense,” Haberkorn said. “The defense was solid again tonight. Without the defense it would have been all over. They have done that all year. The defense has been steady.”
At the service line, Olson and Hunt had 17 points each, while Turczyn had 15.
“It was a great team effort,” Haberkorn said. “We got balanced serving, balanced spiking and balanced digs. Everybody played awful well. Everybody contributed and everybody stayed positive.”
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
Login to your account:
If you'd like to comment on this article, please log in or click here to subscribe.