The Helias Lady Crusaders had a couple of good reasons to be up for Saturday's championship match against the Republic Lady Tigers in the Helias Volleyball Invitational.
"Obviously I'd like to have been undefeated, but I was very pleased," Helias coach David Harris said after the Lady Crusaders bested the Lady Tigers in two games to take the tournament title. "We got all we wanted and more from all of the teams here, everybody played well."
Helias defeated Republic 25-16, 26-24 to take the crown. The Lady Crusaders used a 6-2 run midway through the first game to stretch their advantage to 17-11.
The Lady Crusaders led by as many as 10 points in the late going of the game. Tess Wiley had five service points in the game for Helias, while Lauren Eggen had four and Lisa Bruns three.
It was a different story in the second game. Neither team could get anything going offensively and it was tied at 13. Republic then pieced together a 7-3 run to take a 20-16 advantage.
It was time for a strategy change for Helias.
"We started going down the lines and they were making some hitting errors," Harris said.
Helias battled back to tie the match at 22, 23 and 24. Then Jennifer Martin of the Lady Crusaders was able to serve for the final two points and the match ended on a big kill by Bruns.
Wiley had six service points in the game, while Bruns had three.
Republic had defeated Helias 25-23, 25-22 in pool play.
"That was a good team," Harris said. "We played them a couple of times over the summer and they beat us and this was a good win."
Helias has won the tournament both years it has been held.
Helias (17-4-1) is off until Saturday when it will travel to the Lebanon Tournament.
Helias was the No. 2 seed after pool play, wrapping up the spot with a 25-16, 25-22 win over Fatima.
Fatima led the first game 11-9 before Helias rattled off 13 of the next 16 points to take the lead for good. Nine straight service points by Wiley keyed the rally. Rachel Bax had three points to lead Fatima.
In the second game, Helias jumped out to a 10-3 advantage before Fatima answered in a big way. The Lady Comets rallied to cut the deficit to 19-17 before the Lady Crusaders steadied themselves to take the three-point victory.
Sidney Lammers had four points to lead Helias, while Holly Ortmeyer and Martin had three each.
Bax again led Fatima, serving for four points.
Fatima, which went 1-4 to finish fifth in pool play, captured the fifth-place match with a three-game win over Osceola.
Osceola won the first game 25-18 before Fatima rallied to send the match to a third game with a 25-21 win.
In the deciding game, Alyssa Thoenen served for five straight points to give the Lady Comets a 12-8 lead. After Osceola rallied to tie it at 14, the match went back and forth before Fatima closed it out 25-22.