Cougars show progress in loss

In a matchup of last year’s regional battle, Christian Academy once again emerged victorious against Trinity Lutheran on Thursday night.

While the final scoreline was in the Warriors’ favor, the Cougars played one of their strongest all-around performances of the season in the loss.

The end stat-line read 29-31, 25-23, 25-18, 25-23 in the Warriors’ favor.

From the start, the Cougars had aggressive energy, as the teams traded scores at 13 apiece.

Following a kill from senior Kayla Stuckwisch, the Cougars strung together three straight points to go up 18-14.

A block from Anne Franke and Kayla Stuckwisch gave the Cougars a 19-16 lead, but the Warriors would go away tying the score at 23-23 later in the set.

Going back and forth, trading the lead four more times, the Cougars emerged victorious in the first game by gutting it out at 31-29.

“They came out confident,” Cougars coach Chelsea Stroub said. “They were ready to play. I can’t ask anything more, they played their butts off. I’m so proud of them.”

In Game 2, the Warriors built an early 5-1 lead.

The Cougars battled back to tie the game and take the lead at 13-12.

A kill by Franke gave the Cougars a 16-14 lead, but the Warriors came back to tie the game at 22-22.

The Warriors took a 24-23 lead after a Cougars serving error before taking the second set 25-23.

The third set witnessed the Warriors and Cougars trade leads until the away team won eight straight points to lead 19-12.

From there, the Warriors cruised to the 25-18 victory.

Despite digging themselves a 5-0 hole early, the Cougars were able to take the lead in the fourth set at 17-16.

Up 21-20, the Cougars were only able to amass two more points before falling 25-23.

The Cougars were resilient throughout the match, fighting for each hit.

“We were picking up balls we shouldn’t have,” Stroub said. “We did awesome on defense. They never got in our heads. I’m speechless.”

Despite the loss, Stroub feels her team exceeded where she thought they stood.

“We are a step above where I want to be,” she said. “I’m thrilled. I’m excited to see if we play them again in the postseason.”

With the loss, the Cougars stand at 4-1 on the season.