In front of a huge and electric crowd, the La Salle-Peru volleyball team welcomed rival Sterling for a heavyweight matchup.
But this night even had a little more juice as it was the Senior Night and the last time Emma Happ, Kamryn Olson, Alyssa Ernat, Jacy Mertel, Abby Peruba, Brooke Shirley, Hope Skoog, Arika Richardson, Paige Champlin and Anna Quesse would ever take the home court in the Red and Green.
But unfortunately for the Lady Cavaliers, the high-powered Golden Warriors were not into the festivities and handed the Lady Cavs a 25-18, 25-15 loss.
“We traded points with them early for the first 10 points,” Sterling coach Dale Dykeman said. “They are a quality program and we have a long history of a rivalry. The kids responded to the environment and they played pretty well. We did what we needed to do to win, I mean, when these two programs get together it’s a lot of fun. There have been a lot of historic matches between Sterling and L-P and you know when you play each other you expect each team’s best. We expected nothing less tonight.”
L-P coach Mark Haberkorn was pleased with his team’s performance despite the loss.
“That’s postseason volleyball right there,” Haberkorn said. “Both teams played with a lot of energy and a lot of passion. Both teams played very aggressive. Our seniors played very well her on Senior Night. They have been that way all year. They have been a very good group. They love to compete and they were looking forward to tonight and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
The night started with both teams battling hard at the net as Sterling’s Bree Borum recorded a block before L-P quickly returned the favor as Happ and Quesse put up a wall and registered a block of their own.
The teams exchanged sideouts before Sterling’s Brooklyn Borum fired a couple of missiles into the L-P defense for a pair of kills.
L-P battled back to take 9-7 lead on the service of Olson while Happ played enforcer at the net with a thunderous spike and a big stuff block.
Sterling grabbed the momentum on a pair of aces by Grace Eagan to take a 12-10 advantage.
The Warriors extended the lead to 15-12 behind a couple more kills from Brooklyn Borum.
The Lady Cavs got a pair of kills from Olson and Kenzie DeFosse to keep the score close at 18-15 before the rally of the night as each team hammered spikes into enemy territory only to have them dug out by Shirley for L-P and Lexi Rodriguez for the Warriors. Eventually, the Lady Cavs out-scrambled the visitors to win the point.
But the Warriors then extended their lead to 23-17 on an ace from Eagan and another kill from Brooklyn Borum.
Sterling got another point before Richardson floated the ball into open territory before the Warriors ended the set on an ace from Bree Borum.
The Warriors jumped to an early lead in the second set when Grace Gould served a pair of aces during a five-point run to stake the visitors to an early 6-1 lead.
The Warriors extended their lead on Egan’s service with the help of a big Brooklyn Borum kill to 11-4 before L-P got its answer from Quesse with a rocket of her own.
The Lady Cavs inched back on Skoog’s service and a Quesse block to pull within 13-9.
The teams played even until a pair of kills from Olson and Happ tightened the score to 17-14, but Sterling reeled off eight of the last nine point due mainly to the Borum sisters serving and spiking the ball to end the set and the match.