Girls volleyball: Aurora Central Catholic's late rally stuns Richmond-Burton
There wasn't any sense of panic.
Trailing fifth-seeded and upset-minded Richmond Burton 13-4 in the decisive third game, second-seeded Aurora Central Catholic rallied to outscore the Rockets 23-12 and claim the Class 2A Marengo regional 25-23, 24-26, 27-25 Thursday night.
It is the Chargers' first regional crown since 1991. ACC advances to the Oregon sectional and will play Monday night.
"We blocked the negativity out of our minds and stayed positive," said Vianne Duarte. "Our goal all season has been to win the regional. It is a great feeling."
Behind by 9 points in the third game, the Chargers (21-14) went on a pivotal 6-0 run spearheaded by 2 kills each by Duarte, Chloe Ruge and Abby Lester.
ACC's first lead of the game came at 23-22 on a kill by Lester, a transfer from Metea Valley. Lester, who scored the last 6 Charger points on kills, slammed the game and match winner off a perfectly executed set from senior Mackenzie Sajdak.
"This is insane," said Lester. "We had big dreams to win a regional. It is amazing to win the school's first regional in 30 years."
Lester paced the regional champs with 13 kills, 2 blocks and 3 aces while Duarte collected 11 kills and 4 aces and Ruge added 9 kills. Kane served 3 aces and had 10 assists with 6 digs.
"Even when we were down in the third game, we had a positive mindset that we could do this," said ACC coach Michelle Chavez. "We communicated better and Abby (Lester) really took over. I am so proud of this group. It is nice to win a regional for the first time in 30 years."
Richmond Burton (17-20), which upset top-seeded Rosary Tuesday, was led by Maggie Uhwat with 10 kills and 3 aces.
"We are extremely young and we have a lot to build on for the future," said Richmond-Burton coach Mike Kamholz. "This was a match where both teams played very well."
In Game 1, there were 9 lead changes before ACC scored the final 2 points capped by a kill by Lester.
The Rockets evened the match in the second set by scoring the final two points on kills by Uhwat.