CAPE GIRARDEAU • It was championship game or bust for the Lutheran South girls volleyball team, even if it had to put in some overtime to make that happen.
South and Borgia each finished Class 3 semifinal pool play Friday at the Show Me Center with identical 1-1-1 records. That meant the two had to play an extra set with the winner advancing to the championship match and the loser playing for third on Saturday.
South used a mid-set run to gain control for a 25-19 win, sending the Lancers to their third straight state championship match. South (24-10-6) will play Logan-Rogersville (39-2) for the title at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Lutheran South took home the championship in 2016 and settled for second place a season ago.
“It’s great to be back again,” South senior Livie Sandt said. “We were coming out her to get it done. It showed in everybody and we did it.”
A 3-0 burst gave South control of the extra set. Sandt started it with a kill and Natalie Robinson capped it with an ace to give the Lancers a 16-10 lead.
An Abby Lynn block and kill helped pull Borgia to within 19-15, but Sandt answered with a kill and Danielle Bishop followed with a spike off a free ball to give South a 21-15 advantage. Kills by Abbie Meyer and Peyton Van Nest clinched it for South.
“It was a team commitment,” South coach Carol Reinitz said. “The girls wanted it. They desired it more and they put their whole heart out on the floor.”
Borgia (27-8-1) and South opened Class 3 semifinal pool play against each other with a split. The Knights took the opening set 25-20, but the Lancers won the second 25-19.
Ella Brinkmann had eight kills for Borgia and Lynn had 14 assists and 12 digs.
Sandt and Van Nest combined for 21 kills and 22 assists for South.
South swept Pleasant Hill 25-23, 25-17 in the second round of pool play. Sandt and Van Nest combined for 19 kills and 18 assists for the Lancers.
“Sometimes we get into ruts where we don’t necessarily do everything we can to help each other,” Sandt said. “But once we get into a groove, we’re unstoppable.”
Pulling out that close first set against the Chicks ended up being the difference for South.
“We know that in pool play every single point and set matters and clearly tonight it did matter,” Van Nest said. “We just had to keep our focus to get that next point.”
Logan-Rogersville swept Borgia 25-23 in the second round of pool play. Brinkmann had seven kills and Lynn had 20 assists for the Knights.
The Wildcats also swept South 25-20, 25-19 in the third round of pool play.
At the same time, Borgia swept Pleasant Hill 27-25, 25-16 to force the playoff set with South. The Knights will have a rematch with Pleasant Hill in the third-place match at 3 p.m on Saturday.
Logan-Rogersville swept its way through pool play to earn the top seed. The Wildcats have won 37 of their last 38, with their only loss during that span coming to Willard, which was a Class 4 semifinalist.
Logan-Rogersville will be trying to win its first state title, but South has other plans.