Back on Aug. 24, the Mount St. Mary volleyball team defeated defending Class 4A state champion Elgin 3-1 in the finals of the Clinton Tournament.
Volleyball victories in August typically don't mean much, but this one did.
“We knew they were No. 1 coming in and we beat them,” Mount St. Mary junior Madison Rubino said. “At that point, we were like, ‘Wow, we can really do this.'”
And they did. With a 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Westmoore High School, Mount St. Mary knocked off No. 1 Elgin to claim the Class 4A state championship in the Rockets' first appearance at state.
“It feels really surreal,” said Rubino, who was named to the All-Tournament team. “We've all been working so hard for this. It's really exciting, and I'm really proud of my team.”
The match ended on perhaps the least dramatic point of a tightly contested meeting of No. 1 vs. No. 2.
After the serve by Mount St. Mary's Jordan Hagood, Elgin tried to return it, but was called for a back-row attack, giving Mount St. Mary the point and ending the match.
The first set went to Elgin, 28-26, but Mount St. Mary won the second 25-22 and took control of the match in the third, with a 25-16 win.
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