Faith Wilder-Newland and Jennifer Shade were named the top volleyball coaches in the state in their respective classes at the Indiana Volleyball Coaches Association state tournament banquet Friday night, prior Saturday’s state finals.
Trinity Lutheran’s Wilder-Newland was named the top coach in Class A, and Brownstown Central’s Shade was honored in Class 3A.
Tryouts for the all-star teams will be this Sunday, and the all-star matches will be Nov. 24.
Mike Wineinger, an assistant volleyball coach at Brownstown Central, said the blue ribbon he received was his second state tournament award as he received a red ribbon when he helped Trinity Lutheran finish runner-up in the 2011 state tournament.
Mark DeHart, athletic director at Brownstown Central, said he was happy to have a different color ribbon.
“I received (seven) red ribbons before. The blue ribbon doesn’t match my tie, but that’s OK,” he joked.
Winning a close set can go a long way in determining the outcome of a match, especially one that seemingly goes on forever.
In the Trinity Lutheran vs. Cowan Class A match, the Blackhawks won the first set 30-28 and went on to win the championship in five sets.
Missed serves played a big role in the outcome as both teams missed vital serves late in the set. Cowan missed eight serves in the set but only missed eight the remainder of the match, while Trinity had only four missed serves in the first set and 10 for the match.
The third set in the Brownstown vs. Bellmont match was as exciting a match as there was the whole day. Bellmont held a 23-19 lead when the Braves dug in and rallied for a 24-all tie. Neither team could pull away from the other over the next several plays as the set was tied the next eight points, the final at 32, before the Braves won 34-32 and used that momentum to win the next two sets and bring home their first state title.
Win streaks are a part of volleyball.
Trinity had won 18 straight matches and had lost only three sets during that time, two at Loogootee on Oct. 3 and once in the regional, but the Cougars lost three times Saturday and finished the season 30-6.
Cowan had won seven straight matches since losing to Wapahani late in the season. The Blackhawks were 19-2 over their previous 21 matches, and both losses were to Wapahani.
Wapahani lost to Heritage Christian in the Class 2A finals. Cowan and Wapahani are both members of the Mid-Eastern Conference. Cowan won the Class A state title in 2012.
Brownstown (33-5) also had an impressive win streak of its own, having won 13 straight coming into the Bellmont match. The Braves did not lose a set in any of those matches and topped the Squaws 2-0 in a tournament at Carmel on Oct. 12.
New Castle won the 4A title Saturday night by defeating Hamilton Southeastern 3-1. It was New Castle’s third straight state championship.