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MTZ volleyball season ends in Regional Final

Denver Anderson goes up for a kill in the IHSA 3A volleyball regional at Eisenhower.

Staff Writer

The Mt. Zion volleyball team’s season ended in the IHSA 3A Regional Final losing 2-0 against Chatham-Glenwood.

In the first set, the Braves trailed early 11-6 when a failed return started a Braves rally. Ella Fink made a kill, Maddie Kendall followed with a kill of her own, a failed return, a Maddie Doolen ace and a Jocelyn Turner block totaled five straight points to cut the deficit to 14-13.

Turner added another block and Denver Anderson made a kill to cut the Titans’ lead to 16-15.

The Titans went on to win the first set 25-19 and midway through the second set the Braves started another rally with a Fink kill and Anderson kill to cut the Titans’ lead to 15-13. The Titans went on a 10-1 run to win the second set 25-14.

“I think we fought hard and we left it all on the court tonight,” Head coach Traci Dyer-Townsend said. “I knew it was going to happen, but I thought we were relentless. Our goal was to leave it all on the court and be proud to be a Mt. Zion volleyball player tonight and we did that.”

The Braves finish the season 17-13 and 4-6 in Apollo Conference play.

“Honestly this has been one of my favorite teams, they’re goofy, they’re hardworking, they’re athletic, so like they just gel so well as a team,” Coach Dyer-Townsend said. “They made practices and games so fun and overall I think they just got better as volleyball players . So it was an absolute blast.”

The Braves will graduate Anderson and Doolin. The Braves will retain Kendall, Turner, libero Maddi Moore, Addi Rotz, Angela McCoy and Tayetum Flanigan.

“That’s the bulk of our offense (Anderson and Doolin,” Coach Dyer-Townsend said. “Denver turned into a really good volleyball player. I feel like her focus here and I always used to say she only touched a volleyball during the season,but we are so lucky to have her and she showed tonight with her kills how much of a volleyball player she has truly become. That kind of athleticness and power and Maddie Doolin, she leads this team with her heart. She is a kid that shows up every single day and whatever role you put her in, she’s going to lead with kindness and genuinely. They’re both great kids. The returners have got big shoes to go on this team, but we do have a lot of young play

ers, like most of our kids this year, they were non-starters. Denver and Maddie were our only returning starts. Maddi Moore, Ella’s Fink, and Maddie Kiendall played a little last year, but our younger players really stepped in well for our five graduating seniors from last year.”

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