Whitfield made their mark in the Class 2 District 6 meet before the Lutheran St. Charles Cougars earned a 25-18, 25-14 win over the Warriors in the championship match.
Whitfield stunned defending state champion Hermann 23-25, 25-23, 25-15 in the semifinals. Whitfield finished its season 15-16.
Coach Cip Casado said Whitfield had faced Hermann before many times before in sectionals but never in district play.
Before the match with Hermann, Casado said his girls were ready for the task at hand.
“Our team was focused and ready to play,” Casado said. “I think they were ready to play in the semifinal match at districts, regardless of the opponent. I also think everyone, every team is a bit nervous when it comes to playoff volleyball.”
After dropping the first game, Casado was somewhat concerned.
“We played poorly the first half of the set and played way better the second half, but it was not enough,” Casado said. “We had missed serves and we were not efficient in our serve location. We fixed that and we blocked better on the second set. We were down 17-23 in the second set and we called our second time out.
“We got the ball back and senior Hannah Lewis, who is a very good and efficient server, served excellent to keep Hermann off system and we won the set. Pamela Zuluaga, our outside hitter, also was key in two big hits at 21 points and defense. Our libero Emily Kampen also did a great job keeping the ball off the floor in defense.”
That led to the decision game.
“We knew we had some momentum going into the third set,” Casado said. “And our girls played tough the first 10 points of the set, building a lead. That carried on all set. We just played solid volleyball all set, serving tough and blocking. We also serve-received very well.”
It was a good victory for Whitfield. Casado did not call it an upset.
“I don’t see it that way. In districts, pretty much if you play good volleyball, any team can win,” Casado said. “There is a lot of pressure in all the teams.”
That win led to the playing Lutheran St. Charles for district title. Casado said his girls played well in falling to the Cougars.
“We pushed them three-fourths of the first set, and lost 18-25,” Casado said. “The second set, Lutheran played incredible volleyball, serving tough, digging every ball and blocking. We could not keep up with them. They were clearly the better team. Our girls also were tired from the three-set match against Hermann.
“I think our district was pretty tough and I would not be surprised if Lutheran St. Charles wins it all.”
The loss did not detract from overall season for Whitfield.
“I think the team peaked at the right time – districts,” Casado said. “These girls gave everything they have. I’m proud of them. They are true Warriors.”