The celebration Thursday night was quite subdued.
Despite winning its third consecutive sectional championship, the Harvest Christian girls volleyball wasn't holding the plaque it wants.
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The Lions dominated St. Francis de Sales, 25-7, 25-8, on their home floor in the Class 1A Harvest Christian sectional title match.
"This is a little piece of joy on the way to state," said Lions senior Sydney Doby, who finished with 16 kills. "It's just a little part of it. We want to look at the big picture."
Harvest Christian (28-11) will be very close to home to face defending Class 1A state champion Keith Country Day of Rockford at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Westminster Christian supersectional. The Lions lost twice to Keith Country Day during the regular season.
"The girls did a nice job throughout the season," Lions coach Kim Floyd said. "Three sectional titles in a row, the last three years, (I'm) very honored to coach a team that has done so well in the state series."
Chloe Corbett got the Lions started Thursday with 4 aces in a 9-0 run to open the match. Harvest Christian scored 14 of the first 15 points. An ace from Ellie Burzlaff gave the Lions a 23-7 lead. Mikayla Robinson and Corbett had back-to-back kills to end the first game.
"I was really just trying to place the ball," Corbett said of her serving to begin the game. "I wanted to start us off really strong."
The second game belonged to Doby. The senior had 10 kills in the game, including the final 2 points of the match.
Corbett finished with 5 kills and 4 aces. Robinson, a freshman, also had 5 kills. Jade Martinez finished with 29 assists. Shayna Manusos had 7 digs.
Now the Lions can focus on earning their first trip to state. They lost to Keith Country Day in the supersectional last year and to Dakota two seasons ago.
"We're feeling the joy of this now, but now our next goal is Saturday," Doby said. "Tomorrow we get back on the court and start practicing for that."