Following the Ashland-Greenwood tournament final less than a month ago, the looks on the Wahoo Warriors’ faces said it all after a loss to top-ranked Lincoln Lutheran.
This is a team that doesn’t like to lose, but being swept by one of their biggest competitors for the Class C-1 title stung even more.
Their faces told a different story Saturday, however. They told the tale of redemption.
Wahoo entered the championship of the Lincoln Christian Invite against Lutheran with a chip on its shoulder, and the state's third-ranked team played like it. A 25-20 first-set victory paved the way for a commanding second set from Wahoo, and the defending C-1 champions rolled to the tournament title with a 25-18 win the second set.
“There was a little revenge from that first loss because we knew we could’ve played better in that match,” Wahoo coach Trish Larson said. “We stuck to the game plan and it worked today. We’re in really good position right now but I feel like we still have a lot of room for improvement.”
At this point in the season it may sound like a broken record, but the Wahoo attack was once again firing on all cylinders and keeping an opposing defense off-balance. Freshman Mya Larson led Wahoo in kills on Saturday with 14, but the Warriors also got substantial production from Elly Larson and Kyla Swanson at the net.
Setter Elle Glock distributed the ball with purpose and Wahoo’s versatility at the net was much more effective this time around against Lutheran.
“Give credit to our setter, Elle Glock, she does an amazing job,” coach Larson added. “She puts out hitters in such great positions to succeed and she’s been a huge part of our success this season.”
For the Warriors of Lutheran, the loss was only their third of the season and only their second against Class C-1 competition. The loss was uncharacteristic of a Lutheran team that has overwhelmed opponents throughout the 2018 campaign.
“They kind of did to us what we did to them earlier this season,” Lutheran coach Sue Ziegler said. “We had them out of system in that match and they had us out of system today. Our hitting percentage was down from what we expect, so we still have a lot to work on before the postseason.”
The teams, arguably the top two in the state’s deepest class, will only see each other again in the state tournament if they are to meet again. They’ve split two matches and even split sets 2-2, so the possible rubber match will be on everyone’s radar come November.