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New Trier shake off slow start to capture back-to-back regional titles

Winning never gets old, just ask the New Trier girls volleyball program.

After fending off a stiff challenge from 10th seeded Prospect, the number two seeded Trevians captured their second straight regional title with a 23-25, 25-15, 25-17 win over the Knights.

“We love playoffs,” said New Trier head coach Hannah Hsieh. “We were just saying how fun it is to enjoy these butterflies and see exciting volleyball.”

To most, New Trier’s success came as no surprise as the Trevians returned most of their starters from last years Sectional Championship squad, and cruised to 28 regular season wins.

But despite the plethora of upperclass talent, it was Prospect who gained the early advantage, starting the match out on a 6-0 run behind an extremely aggressive service attack led by senior Emma Cogan (five kills, three aces).

“Prospect wasn’t a team to be taken lightly with the wins that they had, even though we played well against them last time,” said Hsieh. “We already knew they were going to line drive us, we prepped for that all week but we had some trouble adjusting. We played a little tight at the beginning so we just need to learn to come out a little more loose.”

Though New Trier would slowly crawl their way back into the set, the early outburst from Prospect proved to be enough to take the opening set.

Needing a spark to get back in the match, New Trier got it in their only front row player without any previous playoff experience, junior outside hitter Cat Flood.

Flood hit over and around the Prospect block, racking up a match high 13 kills while New Trier’s blocking and serve receive also came around to give the Trevians a comfortable 25-15 set two victory.

“Cat played amazingly well, she was unstoppable.” said Hsieh. “Even if it wasn’t an in system set she made something happen out of it, so I was really proud of her.”

With their new found confidence, New Trier carried the momentum from set two into the decisive third set and took care of business to cap off a thrilling regional title match.

Despite playing nowhere near their best nowhere near their best volleyball, New Trier still rallied to take the match quite comfortably, and the battle tested Trevians know tough matches early on can go a long way towards making a deep playoff run.

“This is playoffs, everybody knows what to expect but this is good preparation going into sectionals,” said Hsieh. “We’ve played some tight matches leading into playoffs including a 32-30 set against Lyons, and all of those things are going to help us during crunch time.”

New Trier will continue their march to Normal Illinois with a sectional semifinal matchup against Fremd at Loyola Academy on October 29.

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