“We just played too sloppy and we couldn’t clean it up in time.’’
At times in the second set, it appeared that the Hilltoppers were just a point or two away to getting things corrected, but Schlarman had four service errors in that set.
“It seemed like we were trading points with them for a while,’’ said Crane, whose team actually had a 17-15 lead at one point.
But, West Prairie (30-6-2) got seven kills in the game’s final 14 points to claim its first Super-Sectional title since taking fourth in the 2008 state tournament.
“I told them before that second set, that I wanted to see the Schlarman team that I’ve seen all year,’’ Crane said. “The amount of hustle that they put out there was unreal, unfortunately, our execution wasn’t there with our effort.’’
Marganski agreed, “In the second set, we picked up our intensity. But that wasn’t our volleyball.’’
“In the first set, we had neither,’’ she added. “We didn’t play the clean volleyball that we needed to play to win this match.’’
With the loss, Schlarman ends its season in the Elite Eight round and the Hilltoppers set a school record with 31 victories this year.
“You feel like there should be more,’’ Crane said. “We have been lucky enough to make it to the Elite Eight in back-to-back years, but clearly, we want to jump over that hurdle and keep moving forward.’’
Marganski, who is one of three seniors along with Janelle Marion and Lexi Rangel, admitted that the team couldn’t appreciate fully what they had accomplished this season.
“Maybe in a week or so, we will realize it,’’ she said. “Right now, we’re just too disappointed to think about it.’’
West Prairie advances to Friday’s IHSA Class 1A State Tournament where the Cyclones will face Rockford Keith Country Day in a 9 a.m. match at Redbird Arena.