Lincoln Middle School and Liberty Middle School volleyball matches seem to always go down to the wire.

On Thursday evening at Lincoln, the two teams battled hard for the eighth-grade regional crown, with Lincoln prevailing 25-18, 25-17.

Photo Gallery: Lincoln-Liberty Girls Volleyball Regional Match

Liberty was ahead in the first match by five points, but Lincoln came back and ended up winning by seven points.Lincoln head coach Jami Parker said she had confidence her girls would come back in the first set when they were behind.“It was just an emotional match between the two teams,” Parker said.

“The girls did a great job working as a unit and settling down to come back. We definitely struggled with our serving in the beginning, but then we served more consistently and that helped. Who wins the match between our two teams is usually who can stabilize emotions.”Liberty finishes the year 16-5.Liberty coach Kelly Schaill said she was proud of her girls.“

Our girls were really pumped up tonight,” she said. “It is that point in the season where it is do or die. I think things would have been a little different if we had won the first set. They gave it their best shot.”

After the match Schaill huddled her girls together and said the career at Liberty may be over for all of them, but the majority would go on and mesh together in high school.

“I told them they have many years to look forward to playing still,” she said. “It will be the best of the best of both teams in high school.”

Lincoln Middle School’s eighth grade volleyball girls will meet Bethalto’s Trimpe Middle School at 6 p.m. Monday at Lincoln for the sectional championship.

The winner of that match will play in the Elite 8 at state on March 21.“It will be another good match Monday,” Parker said. “We have to go back to the gym Friday and start preparing for another night. We have to go out and play our game and be aggressive.”

Lincoln Middle is 19-1 after the Thursday victory.

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