For South Western High's girls volleyball team, Thursday's win at home against New Oxford on senior night meant more than an average victory.
The Lady Mustangs (12-3, 11-3 YAIAA I) clinched a share of the regular season YAIAA I title after beating the Lady Colonials 25-15, 25-22, 25-11.
"We wanted this every year and we were just waiting until we were seniors. To actually do it, oh my gosh, it is so awesome," said South Western senior Brittany Harman, who led the team with four aces.
South Western's senior-laden squad got out to a 6-1 lead in the first game, prompting New Oxford (4-11, 4-10) to call a timeout.
The run continued for the Lady Mustangs, who stretched the lead to 21-15 before closing New Oxford out with a four-point run.
"Based on how we played last night, I think things came a little easier tonight for us. I can't say enough about these seniors," said South Western coach Paul Zeroth, whose team fell to Delone Catholic on Wednesday.
The Lady Colonials nearly evened the series in the second game by taking the lead, 14-12.
"I think we kind of let our foot off the gas pedal," said South Western senior Lizz Bell.
South Western regained its footing and pieced together two three-point runs to take the lead and swing the momentum in its direction.
"Everyone did their role. People who were supposed to be on defense did really well. They dug everything up and kept the ball alive. Everyone on offense put the ball away,"
Harman, an outside hitter, closed the second game with two straight kills to give South Western the win.
The Lady Mustangs looked as if they were going to make it a quick third game, again coming out of the gates with a 6-1 start before New Oxford fought back to close the gap.
South Western was too much down the stretch, stringing together two four-point runs to push the lead to 19-11 before the Lady Mustangs scored six straight to end the game and match.
Purchase reprints of Evening Sun Photos at EveningSunPhotos.Com.
South Western's District 3 Class AAA opponent remains to be determined, but Zeroth knows his team's challenges are just beginning.
"We just want to keep winning. It won't get easier," Zeroth said.
Zeroth said part of the reason for the excitement was the group of seniors have been playing together for several years.
"It has been quite a while since we have had the success that we have had (this season), so I think for them it is really, really special," Zeroth said.
Contact Sam Latter at firstname.lastname@example.org.