DUPO - The girls' volleyball team at Hardin Calhoun High reached another milestone during their historic season by winning the IHSA Class 1A regional championship with a 26-24, 25-17 win over Waterloo Gibault Catholic Thursday evening at the Dupo High School gym.
The win puts the Warriors at 35-1 and on into the Nokomis sectional this coming week, where a possible sectional final Round of 16 match with Valmeyer could be awaiting.
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It's back-to-back-regional titles for Calhoun, and head coach Melissa Zipprich is excited about the win and the opportunity awaiting at Nokomis.
"We're repeat regional champions," Zipprich said, "and it was a very exciting match throughout."
Zipprich added that Thursday night's regional championship win was wonderful, but it definitely wasn't the girls' best performance.
"We had 24 errors in the 2 sets," she said. "This weekend we have a lot of work to do to clean things up. But our win showed that we can come back and fight back when it is needed.
"Delani Klaas's serving really made a huge difference in the game. Overall our serving struggled with 7 serving errors but Delani had a great night on the line with 5 aces, no errors, and 14 total points served. She served the last 3 points in the close second set bringing us back from a 22-24 deficit to win 26-24.
"We will face St. Anthony Effingham at 7:00 Monday night in Nokomis for the first round of sectionals."
Delani Klaas powered the Warriors' lineup with 14 successful serves, Audrey Gilman had six, and McKenzie Baalman and Haylee Ambruster had three. Josie Hoagland had two successful serves and Abby Johnes had one. Delani Klaas had 10 kills, a team-high, while Gilman had seven and Kate Zipprich added six kills. Hoagland had 10 serve receives and Joy Hurley had nine for the Warriors.
Lacy Pohlman was again a huge contributor for Calhoun with 21 assists and 11 digs. Hoagland had 10 digs.
The first game of the match was tight, knotted at one point 20-20 and 22-22, but the Warriors persevered and pulled out the win.
The Warriors play the host Redskins, who are 30-6-1 after winning the Raymond Lincolnwood regional over the Lancers 25-18,18-25, 25-15, in the first semifinal Monday evening at 6 p.m. The second semifinal features the Pirates, now 34-3 after winning the Carrollton regional over the host Hawks 25-20, 26-24, going against Effingham St. Anthony Catholic, 24-7 after winning the St. Elmo regional over Louisville North Clay 25-14, 25-11, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. The winners meet in the sectional final Round of 16 match Nov. 1 at 6 p.m., with the sectional winner moving on to the Okawville super-sectional against the Marion Crab Orchard sectional - either Norris City-Omaha-Enfield, Carrier Mills-Stonefort, Gorville or Campbell Hill Trico - Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.
The Hawks end their season 19-18, while the Hawks finish up 26-8, Lincolnwood ends their season 25-10-2 and the Cardinals finish up at 28-9.
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