For the 15th year in a row and 24th time in the last 26 seasons, the Borgia volleyball Lady Knights have claimed a district title.
Borgia swept Owensville in the Class 3 District 8 championship match Tuesday night, 25-21, 25-9.
“We’re very excited,” said Borgia Head Coach Brad Bruns. “We’re glad we were able to win the championship this year. We’re excited to get back into practice tomorrow to get ready for Saturday. I know we’re going to have a very tough sectional ahead of us.”
The Lady Knights (17-12-3) will travel to St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon Saturday to take on St. Dominic (23-8-2) in the opening round of the Class 3 Section 2 Tournament. Borgia will meet the Lady Crusaders for the third time this season at 4:30 p.m. The teams have split their previous two meetings.
In the other first-round match, Westminster (24-6-1) will take on Duchesne (10-21) at 3 p.m.
The winners of the two sectional matches meet in the quarterfinals at 6 p.m.
Three of the four teams in the event are from the Archdiocesan Athletic Association. Borgia swept Duchesne during the regular season.
“We’ve got to just keep plugging away and hopefully we’ll be able to come out on top,” Bruns said.
“The girls came through big tonight,” Bruns said. “The serve receive was incredible tonight. The defense was really good. We struggled a little bit offensively in the first game, but overall, I’m proud of the way they played. We want to be playing our best ball at the end of the year. I still think we have room to improve, but I think we’re getting it.”
In the championship match, the Lady Knights fell behind early and had to scrap for every point.
“I thought Owensville played an incredible first game,” Bruns said. “They fought us tooth and nail for every point.”
Owensville jumped on top 2-0 on an ace by Brittany Jahnsen. Borgia came back to tie it, but spent much of the early part of the match chasing the Dutchgirls.
An ace by Clara Wehmeyer made it 7-3 in favor of Owensville and left the Lady Knights searching for a quick reply.
Borgia caught up at 8-8 on an Owensville error and went up 10-9 on a kill by Erin Hillerman.
However, Owensville fought back and the teams were last tied at 14-14.
Borgia started to pull away from there. Emma Kriete and Sarah Geatley put down kills to start the Borgia roll. The Lady Knights moved out to a 22-16 lead, reaching that on an ace by Clara Blatt.
But Owensville wasn’t done. The Dutchgirls pulled back to 22-20, forcing Bruns to take a timeout.
Setter Janie Arand put down a kill to make it 23-20, but Owensville’s Hailey Diestelkamp responded for the Dutchgirls.
A kill by Taylor Mentz gave Borgia game point and Kriete closed it out.
Between games, the Lady Knights came together.
“A couple of the girls stepped up in the huddle and said we’re going to end it right now,” Bruns said. “I’ve got to give them credit. They came in fired up and some words of wisdom definitely made a difference. I saw a spark tonight I haven’t seen in a while.”
Owensville’s lone highlight in the second game came when the Dutchgirls tied it at 1-1. From there, Things went totally in Borgia’s favor.
Molly Arand ripped three points in a row while serving and Emma Kriete continued the momentum with a tape-tipping ace to make it 8-2. She served another ace which clipped an Owensville player on the way out of bounds to make it 11-2.
Borgia led 17-3 and was cruising to the title when Owensville started to come back. Both teams rotated players into the game as Borgia continued to dominate play.
An Owensville service error gave the match to Borgia.