Avon built a 15-10 lead and the five-point cushion proved to be the difference in the 25-20 third set.
The fourth set featured seven ties and Cathedral, leading 8-6 before Strange served on a 6-0 run to put the Orioles ahead, 12-8. Avon also scored six of the last seven points to set up a return trip to Ball State’s Worthen Arena.
Prince’s play picked up steam through the match, helping will the Orioles to victory.
“As good as she is, she’s still just a sophomore,” McQueen said. “There are times where she needs to believe how good she is and take rips.”
Normally the stoic, non-reactive coach on the sidelines, McQueen was smiling and fist-pumping through the third and fourth sets. McQueen didn’t like the energy from the team in the first two sets and the dedication and passion started to come out. When the coach’s demeanor changed, the team’s play did too.
“What I feel inside is probably a little different than what I show,” McQueen said about his demeanor. “This is big for this program to be able to get back and go through the things that we did this year. It was great to be able to see them bring that energy back up. We weren’t going to be able to win that match if we didn’t bring our energy up.”
Avon will meet No. 2-ranked Carmel in the state championship, a rematch of August 21’s matchup where the Greyhounds won 3-0. It was the third game of the season for the Orioles.