Eastland Lady Cougar Courtney Blair (middle) attempts to get one over the arms of Milledgeville Lady Missile defenders Mackenzie Neubauer (#32) and Taylor Kent (#11) during Saturday night's regional volleyball championship game in Lanark. (PA photo/Craig Lang)
The victorious Lady Cougars and coaches pose with their regional championship plaque after Saturday evenings win. (PA photo/Craig Lang)
LANARK The tradition-rich Eastland volleyball team is back on top in the NUIC. Eastland, however, provided a little bit more drama than in previous title runs. The Wildcats defeated longtime rival Milledgeville 2-1 Saturday, Nov. 1, and claimed their own Class 1A Eastland Regional Championship, their 10th Regional crown in 11 years.
Milledgeville defeated Eastland 29-27 in a back and forth first game. Eastland, however, recovered nicely. The Wildcats won the second game 25-6, rolling past the Missiles. Eastland prevailed 25-16 in the third and final game.
The Missiles played excellent volleyball in the opening game, dominating at times. Milledgeville owned leads of 8-1 and 10-3, respectively in the opening game.
After shaking off the shaky start, the Kristy Pierce-coached Eastland team played much better in each of the last two games.
"Milledgeville had a game plan, and they executed it perfectly," Eastland coach Kristy Pierce said after the game.
Milledgeville, under the guidance of Coach Kali Livengood, managed to hang around in the third and final game.
Numerous players stepped up, played well and helped to push the Lady Cougars over the top for the postseason victory.
The Lady Cougars advance to the Polo Sectional on Tuesday, Nov. 4. In the first match, Eastland plays Erie, winners of the LaMoille Regional.
The second match will see Dakota winners of the Durand Regional, against Galena, winner of the Scales Mound Regional. The championship match will be Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m.