PLYMOUTH – Tionna Williams was playing like she was on a mission, and now she is taking the rest of the Concordia volleyball team with her – all the way to state.
The junior had two dominant performances Saturday and the result is a trip to the program’s first state championship match in a decade.
Williams and the Class 3A No. 6 Cadets saved their best for last with a three-game sweep of top-ranked Mishawaka Marian 25-23, 25-19, 25-22 in the championship match at Plymouth.
I didn’t expect anything less, said Williams, who committed to Wisconsin a month ago. We came out and played our hearts out and laid it all on the line.
This was our year. We said in the preseason that we were going to state this year.
Williams had 17 kills and 10 digs in the title match and 28 kills and 14 digs in the semifinals.
Marian (36-2) entered the semistate title match with only one previous loss – to 4A No. 1 Carmel.
We knew they had a lot of pressure on them, Concordia coach Trish Miller said of the Knights’ lofty ranking and veteran team. We knew we could never let our guard down, and they were coming after us. We out-scraped them and played unbelievable defense.
Concordia (29-7) advances to the 3A state championship match against Brebeuf (19-12) at 3 p.m. Saturday at Ball State.
It is Concordia’s first state finals appearance since going back-to-back in 2003 and 2004. The Cadets fell in the 2003 3A title match.
The Cadets got 13 kills from DeJour Young and 11 kills from Erica Shively in the finals.
The Cadets beat New Prairie in four games, 25-22, 24-26, 25-19, 25-23, in the semifinals.
In the other semifinal match, 3A No. 5 Bellmont lost to Marian 25-20, 21-25, 25-16, 25-14.
Holly Hankenson had 12 kills, while Bailee Hanksenon added 23 assists and 18 digs for the Braves (32-6).
They seem to make every defensive play, Bellmont coach Craig Krull said. I told them we fought hard, but it was just not the outcome we were looking for.
Another area team, Woodlan, fell in the 2A semistate championship at Bremen. The Warriors lost to Hammond Bishop Noll (30-9) in five games, 25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-7.
Tori Bontrager had 25 kills and Burgundy Price had 18 in the finals.
The Warriors (26-8) beat No. 7 Southwood in the semifinals 25-10, 25-23, 24-26, 25-10.
Two other area teams, Carroll and Blackhawk Christian, also fell in the semistate semifinals.
At Huntington North, Carroll lost to No. 1 Carmel 25-15, 25-13, 25-10 in the 4A semistate semifinals.
The Chargers (28-8) played the match without sophomore Jackie Quade, who had an ankle injury.
At Caston, Blackhawk Christian (24-9) fell to No. 1 Wes-Del in the semifinals, 25-23, 17-25, 25-12, 25-18.