"It was a boxing match, we knew that going in..." said Cissna Park volleyball coach Josh Landon. "They (Lanark-Eastland) were just too much."
Saturday's Class 1A IHSA state championship match (heard on 94.1 WGFA) witnessed a blow-by-blow match between Cissna Park High School and Lanark Eastland volleyball teams.
"I thought we could match them blow for blow," Landon said. "We talked about it being a boxing fight and for the most part, in set one, we were able to do that."
The physical Cougars, though, took over and wore down the Tiumberwolves to win the Class 1A title in 2-sets, 26-16 and 26-16 at redbird Arena in Normal.
The opening set was tied eight times with four lead changes before Eastland took a 15-14 advantage on a kill by Sydney Guenter. They then stretched the advantage a bit before delivering the knockout blow with a 7-0 run on their way to the state championship.
It was the third state volleyball title for Eastland (40-1-1) and the first since the Cougars won back-to-back crowns in 2008-09.
Cissna Park closed out 33-6-1. The runner-up trophy comes after a third-place finish a year ago in what was their first state finals appearance.
"You don't get too many opportunities like this," Landon said. "We were fortunate enough to make this trip back here and to finish runner-up is pretty special."
"They were able to serve aggressively from behind the line and we were unfortunate in our abilities to execute out of serve receive," he said. "That ultimately was the difference in the game."
Valparaiso University basketball recruit Addison Stoller had five kills and eight digs for the Timberwolves. Anna Kaeb contributed 10 assists.