After ending a largely successful regular season with a record of 29-5, the Herscher girls volleyball team began regionals on Tuesday, October 29, and put on a record-setting show as they won the first Regional Championship since 2012, and recorded the first 30 win season since 2003. The regional round of the tournament took place on the Tigers’ home court in the Herscher High School gym across two nights of 

In the first round, the Tigers lined up across the net from a familiar foe in the Bishop McNamara Irish. The team came out ready and quickly showed their court dominance. Aided by a flurry of aces and kills by the Tiger hitters, the Tigers took the first set with a score of 25-14. 

The girls kept the momentum up heading into the second set and put the game out of reach for the rival Irish. The Tigers held McNamara to 17 points in the second set, making quick work of the opposing squad. Once the match was over, the Tigers were able to look ahead to the Regional Championship against Beecher, a match that would prove to be a wakeup call moving forward.

The Bobcats of Beecher entered the contest with an impressive record of 24-9 and looked to knock the Tigers off the high they seem to be on. In the first set the Tigers came out a little lackadaisical and Beecher took advantage running up the score on the Tigers. The end of the set brought a push from the Tigers as they fought back with a plethora of points to make the score 24-23, but one point was all it took for the Bobcats to take the first set 25-23.

Then the Tigers woke up. They came out with a vengeance after the disappointing first set and dominated the second. Coach Joel Huizenga said, “We played really well against Mac but against Beecher we had to get our heads back in it. Once we did, we were able to win pretty easily.” To say the Tigers won easily may have been an understatement. They took the second set 25-16 in a dominating performance.

The third set brought the same result for the Tigers as they continued to show why they own the one seed. The Tigers’ senior heavy squad claimed the third set on a final kill from senior outside hitter Claudia Huston. Huston said, “We picked each other up if any of us made a mistake and we kept our confidence. We need to work on some communication and not deciding after the ball hits the floor.” The set’s final score was 25-14 and the Tigers won the match 2-1.

The Tigers know they need to improve for the next challenge in Tolono Unity for the Sectional Semifinal. Junior middle hitter Maddie Offerman said, “I think the last two games we didn’t play to our full potential. Our hitting was really good all around though. We need to work more on communicating during defense and covering when we get blocked.”

Coach Huizenga said, “Going forward, the mental strain of regionals is over. Now you are chasing a much bigger prize. It is time to play our best ball of the season. We worked really hard at working together now more than ever.”