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Aquin to play for third place after three set loss in 1A state semifinals

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 11:24 PM CST
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NORMAL, Ill. (WIFR) - Aquin had not lost a match in two months. The Lady Bulldogs only two losses on the season were to teams higher in class. On Friday, Aquin finally met its match in the 1A state semifinals, dropping a three-set heartbreaker to St. Thomas More.

The Lady Bulldogs got off to a strong start, winning the first set 25-19. Their attack percentage was best in that first set, finishing off 55% of their kills. But, the Sabers, with three Division 1 players on the roster, including one girl heading to Ohio State, didn’t back down in the last two sets.

St. Thomas More came out swinging in both the second and third set, building up early leads that were insurmountable for Aquin. Junior Lucy Arndt had a match-best 16 kills, adding three aces and 12 digs. Senior Ava Hively had ten kills and two aces.

“I definitely think there’s still some pressure because, obviously we don’t want to lose,” said junior Bentleah Stovall. “We didn’t come all the way here to just lose both games.”

Aquin will look to finish the year with a win in the third place match against Springfield Lutheran. Either way, this will be the first state trophy in program history.

“All year these girls have had fun on the court. They go out there and play and smile and we lost a little of that today. The nerves got to us. It’s a big arena, it’s a different atmosphere. But they’ve had fun on the court and I’m hopeful when they come out, just have fun.”

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