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Volleyball: Washington Township wins fifth straight sectional

Updated: November 22, 2012 6:58AM



VALPARAISO — It only took three sets for Washington Township to secure their fifth sectional title in a row on Saturday against Kouts (25-13, 25-9, 25-17).

But it was the first for new coach Kevin Labaj, who admitted there was some anxiety coming into the season.

“I was worried knowing there were only two returning seniors, but they came through in a big way throughout the year,” he said.

Senior Lindsay Henry added: “Winning sectionals every year of my high school career is crazy, but we play as a team with our aim to win. Losing six seniors last year was huge so I knew I needed to lead by example in order for us to win.”

And that she did, leading the Senators with five aces and 11 kills.

Kouts coach Karyl Van Dyke said her squad hit expectations in what she called a rebuilding year.

“We don’t have any seniors, so all of my girls will be returning next year and we are excited about that,” she said. “Washington Township is a well-disciplined team and don’t make many mistakes, so we came out knowing we needed to be technically sound; it just wasn’t one of our better games.”

The Senators were coming off a disappointing runner-up finish in last week’s Porter County Conference tournament. So Labaj was curious about how the girls would rebound.

“I was worried about how we would bounce back, but my girls showed how tough they are and played great,” he said.

Experience is a key in the sectional tournament, but apparently not needed.

“My underclassmen were a huge reason why we won,” Labaj said.

Specifically, freshman Lauren Kleist had seven kills and was a huge catalyst on the right side.

Washington Township advances to Tuesaday’s regional in which it will face Pioneer on the road.



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