Of the 25 kills registered by his Carmel team on Thursday night, Carmel coach David Pazely seemed most proud of the team-leading 6 kills from Morgan Meade.
"It's because Morgan stayed after practice to work on hitting the ball,'' Pazely said. "And now, she's helped bring us a regional crown."
Was it even a half and hour? That's how fast the 31-game winner from Carmel put away Glenbrook South to win the regional championship at home. Carmel blitzed the Titans 25-13, 25-12 and now will head to the Conant sectional Tuesday night for a matchup against Stevenson.
In Thursday's first set, the match was close until Carmel slugger Gracie Schofield went to the serving line. Her fiery serve notched three aces and a block kill from Alexandra Wayland opened up an 11-5 advantage.
"My coaches tell me to take a big breath before I serve,'' Schofield said. "And don't worry about it. Once it goes over the net, it's working."
Schofield felt her team was ready to go from the start in this match.
"We dominated with energy,'' she said. "We were so loud. They didn't expect that."
Meade stepped into her role as hitter with a kill making it 16-10.
"I help with the blocking and hitting,'' Meade said. "And we all help individually to help motivate the team."
Meade enjoys playing on this Corsairs team.
"We love working together,'' she said. "We have a lot of talent. It's like a huge family. And tonight, we really wanted it."
Schofield returned to the serving line to finish off the first set. Naturally, she added another ace. She also had help from a block kill from teammates Elle Rengers and setter Alyssa Armada.
In Set 2, the visitors fought back. Another Meade kill helped the Corsairs (31-7) nurse an 11-9 lead. And Armada went to the serving line. She had help from Wayland and Haley Nedelka with kills. Add another Nedelka kill and a Rengers kill and the lead was suddenly 19-11.
Naturally, the Carmel defense was at the top of its game. Both defensive specialists Sierra Kepski and libero Shauna Meagher split 26 assists in half.
"We played with heart,'' Meagher said. "Glenbrook South gave us a good fight. But we are the best with heart."
Meagher is known for making the most difficult dig look easy.
"I think I have really quick feet,'' Meagher said. "And I talk to my teammates."
Rengers' block kill closed the regional.
"Our energy couldn't be matched tonight,'' Pazely said. "And our great fans came out on Halloween."
Helping Meade on attack were Wayland (5 kills), Schofield (4), Rengers (3), Nedelka (3) and Armada (2). The Carmel setter, Armada, notched 21 assists.