By Justin Whitaker
ELLETTSVILLE — Tri-West volleyball coach Stacey Rogers believes her team got caught up in the past last night.
The Bruins traveled nearly an hour and a half to take on Edgewood in regional action and fell 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-19).
Last season, Tri-West was eliminated by Edgewood in three separate sports (girls’ basketball, softball and volleyball) in regional competition. Those defeats hung in the Bruins’ minds.
“I don’t know if it’s a mental game like everyone has heard before but they beat us in three regionals last year and as much as we came in not wanting it to happen this year because that’s what got us fired up,” Rogers said. “I think it was stuck in the back of our head that ‘Here they come. They are going to come haunt us again.’”
The three sets featured five scoring runs of at least five points or more for Edgewood.
In the first set, there were seven ties with the final occurring at 15-15. The Mustangs scored six straight points, and 10 of the last 13, to win, 25-18.
“I thought Edgewood started a little slow and we were able to stay right with them,” Rogers said. “Their ability, they just stepped up and came alive. Their hitters stepped up; their blockers definitely stepped up more than anything. Height is definitely something I can’t make.”
The second set was a different story for the Bruins as they were out of it nearly the entire set and lost 25-12. Edgewood had two separate scoring runs of seven points each.
However, Tri-West didn’t go down without a fight. The Bruins led 14-11 before the Mustangs went on another of their runs. Eight unanswered points by Edgewood took the wind out of Tri-West’ sails.
“We learned a few things about them and were able to take advantage of a few things like how to get around a block and dig deep,” Rogers said. “We were able to hang with them for a little bit.”
The Bruins graduate seven seniors from this year’s team in Morgan Land, Taylor Green, Alyssa Clark, Keanna Lazaro, Kati Leak, Alyssa Hake and Kat Zielinski.
“This group of seniors is great. I’ve never seen individual kids mature in one year and improve in their abilities in one year,” Rogers said. “They are very upset because they are so much like a family. I’ve never had seven seniors so I’ve never had that many kids band together on a team before. It’s always been a few smaller groups but they are all one big family.”
Tri-West finished the season at 21-13 and with their fourth sectional championship in five years. Overall, it was a good year for the Bruins.
“I’m happy with my season. Of course, we would always like to win a regional championship but we’ve won four out of five sectionals,” Rogers said. “That’s something we are happy with putting Tri-West on the map and hopefully win more game next year.”