EC SPIKERS REPEAT SOUTHPORT CHAMPIONS

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Now 5-0 for the season, East Central's Lady Trojans celebrate their second consecutive Southport Invitational varsity volleyball title after a 3-0 run in the southside Indianapolis tournament Saturday, Aug. 18. (EC Athletics)

 

INDIANAPOLIS - East Central’s volleyball varsity went 3-0 to win the Southport Invitational title for a second-straight season Saturday, Aug. 18.

Coach Cassie Laker’s Lady Trojans emerged 5-0 for the day on the south side of Indianapolis, while the EC junior varsity finished third in the tournament, at 2-1.

Opening the event against Indy’s Scecina Memorial High, varsity Trojans started haltingly before registering a 2-1 win in the first round of pool play, 19-25, 25-23, 15-10.

“We started incredibly slow,” Laker said. “The team on the court at the start of the day was not the team I know we are.

“We weren't awake and were just going through the motions. Scecina took advantage of that. We didn't start playing our game until midway through the second set and managed to squeak by to force Set 3. That's when we really decided to start playing and it showed on the scoreboard.”

Next up in pool play for East Central was Indianapolis Lutheran, and another slow start.

“We decided to turn it on a little too late in Set 1,” Laker noted. “We lost 24-26, but we bounced back and turned it on the remainder of the match.

“The girls were a night and day difference, and I finally recognized the team on the court. They were fun to watch and started executing.”

Lady Trojan spikers finished off the Scecina match with set scores of 25-9 and 15-8.

Saturday’s championship matched EC against the host Southport Cardinals.

“We lacked energy and intensity all day, but they pulled it out when it mattered most,” Laker said. “The girls were pumped up and loud, and controlled the game from the start.”

East Central won the first set 25-18. Set 2 went back and forth, but the Trojans couldn’t get a stop at the end, losing 23-25.

Set 3 saw EC ride the rollercoaster again. Down early 2-7, Trojans went on a run to get back into the game on a kill from senior Mack Ewing and four consecutive aces and two more serves from junior libero Alex Disbro.

East Central kept rallying in a back-and-forth set to the finish, pulling out the 15-13 win.

“I'm very proud of these girls,” Coach Laker added. “We didn't play well most of the day and made it a lot harder than it should have been. But we never quit.

“We stayed focused and found a way to win. It takes real grit to be able to do that when things aren't going your way. This team is determined to do something other teams at EC haven't done. They are fun to watch.”