Kapaun Mt. Carmel (35-6) and Bishop Carroll (28-12) won their respective substate tournaments at Andover High School with tough victories over the hometown teams. The Crusaders beat Andover Central 25-22, 25-11, while the Golden Eagles edged host Andover 25-22, 25-21.
The Jaguars came from three down to grab a five-point lead, 13-8. As quickly as the Jags took the lead, the Crusaders took it back. Leading 24-22, Gabrielle Torline got the winning point on a stuff block.
“They (Central) are a great team and they were blocking really well,” Kapaun coach Terri Hessman said. “We had to really change some things up to get the ball down on their court.”
Whatever changes the Crusaders made for the second set worked as the Jaguars could never get things going. They fell behind early before losing 25-11.
It was a disappointment for Andover Central, especially after playing so well in the first set against the state’s No. 4 team.
“We were moving, we were making things happen, everything was quick,” Central coach Rachel Tyson said. “It’s kind of like we didn’t win the first set, and we had the wind taken out of our sails.”
In the other pool, Bishop Carroll eased into a 10-8 lead and maintained a small advantage the rest of the set. Andover pulled to within two at 24-22 but could not get over the hump.
“They’re a very good team and we knew we were going to have to play well with very few errors to beat them,” Carroll coach Rita Mernagh said.
Game two was equally close, with the last tie at 16. Three straight points by the Eagles gave them a 19-16 advantage, which they expanded to 21-17.
A kill and a block by Andover’s Regan Peare made it 21-20 before Carroll’s Taylor Bevis and Laura Hageman scored for a three-point lead. Jaylyn Agnew made it 23-21 when she pushed one into the corner for Andover. The Eagles clinched their spot in the state tournament when Meghan Dugan and Haley Northcutt pounded down kills to end the set and the match.
Andover coach Sue Coffman was pleased with the effort of her girls.
“You can’t ask them to be any more than the best they can be and fight for every point,” she said, “and that they did.”