LOOGOOTEE — Loogootee has been here before.
For the second consecutive year the Lions will try to advance through the semistate round in the state volleyball tournament, something they were unable to do a year ago.
Last year, the Lions (32-4)defeated Clay City in the first match of the semistate, but fell to state runner-up Trinity Lutheran in five sets. Trinity Lutheran once again could stand between the Lions and playing for the state championship. In the Lions first match Saturday, which will be played at home at the Jack Butcher Arena, will be against the Indiana School for the Deaf. Wade and the Lions are very familiar with Trinity Lutheran from past matchups, and they defeated Trinity near the end of the 2012 season. Indiana Deaf, however is a new opponent for Loogootee.
“At this point we don’t know a whole lot about them (Indiana Deaf) besides comparing scores from other schools,” said Loogootee head coach Lacey Wade. “That’s all we know at this point.”
After Tuesday’s regional championship victory at Northeast Dubois, Wade thinks the slow start the Lions experienced and enduring the loud crowd noise on their way to their seventh regional championship will be helpful.
“The girls really had to go on their instincts,” Wade said. “They had to constantly know where they were on the court, and that will be a good thing for them.”
With three wins away from their first state championship, Wade knows that her team needs to focus in on everything if they want to advance through both matches on Saturday.
“We really need to focus on our game and what we’re doing well,” Wade said. “Our defensive play is what we need to work on most if we want to take the next step.”
After playing in 36 matches to get to semi-state, Wade thinks her team handled themselves very well up to this point, given the strength of their schedule and annual difficult task of getting past rival Barr-Reeve in the sectional championship.
“I think we’re in a very good spot,” Wade said. “For us a lot of times the sectional is the hardest thing to get out of, and right now the girls have a lot of confidence in themselves and their teammates.
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