WATERLOO — With the first round of Class 1A regional volleyball getting underway Tuesday night, one thing was evident.
Neither Waterloo Christian nor Valley Lutheran was ready to have their season come to an end.
It a thrilling four-set battle, the host Regents were able to overcome multiple deficits for a 27-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-18 victory and advance to the next round on Monday against Don Bosco, which eliminated Central City 25-10, 25-8, 25-19.
“We expected a good match like this, but we really had to work hard as a team to win it,” Waterloo Christian senior middle hitter Abigail Doering said. “Our coaches give us so much encouragement and we work so hard and have so much trust in each other. We use a lot of energy and right now we feel like we can do most anything.”
The Regents rallied from a 20-13 deficit in the opening set to pull off a 27-25 win, but their rally fell short in the second as the Crusaders held the lead most of the way for a 25-22 victory.
That set up a pivotal third set.
Waterloo Christian grabbed a 15-13 lead on a Doering kill, but took a hit when senior Mallory Smith left the court and did not return to the floor.
“The third set was really important for both teams, and when Mallory left we decided we were going to go out and do this for her,” Doering said. “We knew we had people that could step in and play and we just had to trust in one another.”
The Regents held as Doering and Abigail Mazzarella blasted kills down the side for a 25-21 win.
“We had seen Valley before and knew they were a very scrappy team,” Regents first-year coach Angela Evans said. “We knew this could go either way and we just kept reminding our girls that they are good athletes and they need to stay comfortable on the floor and play.
“We tell them that when you get down, what do you do?” added Evans. “You get your fight on, and if things get difficult you fight together, or you go down together.”
The Regents built a 20-18 lead late in the fourth set and did not allow the Crusaders another point as they closed out the victory.
“All year we worked on building character and not giving up,” Crusaders coach Katie Gates said. “We want them to think positive because you don’t always win at life, and they must just keep fighting. I am so proud of them.”
Addyson Kaune dropped in 10 kills for Valley Lutheran.