MONTICELLO — Not even two timeouts could bother Kylee Garrett.
The senior libero and Pleasant Plains captain had 12 straight points and was just four service points off the school record in a 25-22, 25-10 win over Maroa-Forsyth in the game for Wednesday’s Class 2A Monticello title.
But more importantly, the victory moved the Cardinals (32-5) into the final eight teams and into the Clinton Supersectional to face Quincy Notre Dame (32-4) at 6:30 p.m. Friday in a No. 1 seeded matchup.
Garrett got the ball for the Cardinals’ first serve in Game 2 with his team trailing 2-1. His second serve was an ace, Maroa-Forsyth misplayed two balls then Garrett had another ace before Lauren Buxton slew for a 7-2 lead which forced the Trojans into a time out.
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Four more points forced Maroa-Forsyth to call another timeout, but it was to no avail as Garrett went on to serve two more points to give Pleasant Plains a 13-2 lead before the Trojans n briefly stem the bleeding.
Buxton said it was fun to be in the field during the race.
“Oh my God, that was so amazing,” Buxton said. “I wasn’t ready for that; I don’t think anyone was ready for that.
“(Garrett) kept hitting and hitting him; Everything was perfect. It was just amazing. We really stayed focused on our side of the pitch because we picked ourselves up a lot but we didn’t falter and we didn’t get too cocky either.
The second game was nothing like the first, which Plains won 25-22 in a nip-and-tuck competition that was fairly even.
“After the first set back and forth, our coach said we had to start strong and get a good lead in the second game and that’s exactly what we did,” Garrett said. “It was amazing and my team really helped me keep going by getting me excited at every point.”
Garrett finished with 12 service points, three aces and three digs to send the team into the Elite Eight.
Chasing the story, chasing the sister
Pleasant Plains’ 2018 season was one every player would love to emulate: The Cardinals won the Class 2A state championship with a straight-set victory over Galena in the title game.
But Garrett, who was a freshman on that team, has his eyes on something else from this year: his sister’s school record for service points.
Jade Garrett was a senior defensive specialist for the 2A Champions and holds the single-season school record with 253 service points. Wednesday’s play-off pulled Kylee Garrett within five years of equaling her sister’s record with at least one game remaining.
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“She’s a competitive person and she had an older sister that played for me who had an academic record and I think Kylee is chasing that one a bit here,” Dufour said.
Garrett has 248 points on 419 service attempts. With just 28 errors on serves, Garrett had a remarkable 93.3 serve percentage.
“She’s going back and she’s a solid waitress for us,” Dufour said. “I know she’s going to hit her zone. I try to challenge her when I see an opening on the other side. I know Kylee can get this so I give her these areas to serve and she does a great job executing this.
Loving it like libero
Although Garrett can play as if she had been a Libero for much of her life, she only started playing it during the COVID-19 shortened Spring 2021 season.
“Sophomore and freshman I was an all-around outside hitter,” she said.
The decision turned out to be smart.
“I like the libero; it’s so much fun,” Garrett said. “Obviously getting those big hits like Lauren and Peyton and Sydney and all of that is amazing, but letting those giant hits slip by is so rewarding.”
Garrett was a freshman on the state’s winning team, but she didn’t see much floor time. But what she saw was what it took to become champion. And she thinks this team has that same ceiling.
“Obviously we’re going to be up against some tough teams in the next few games, but I think our team really has potential if we play together like we know we do,” Garrett said.
IN OTHER SECTIONAL 2A ACTIONS: Staunton finished their season with a 25-17, 25-17 loss to Breese Mater Dei in the Vandalia Division. The Bulldogs end the season 30-9.
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Duo helps get Luther out of the first hole
Kaleigh Bergschnider and Makenna Cox combined for 43 digs to help Lutheran emerge from a first-set loss to beat Mount Sterling Brown County 22-25, 25-20, 25-13 to win the Class 1A Greenfield Sectional title on Wednesday .
The top-seeded Crusaders (31-5) will face No. 4 Waterloo Gibault (21-16) on Friday in Supersection 1A Raymond Lincolnwood at 7 p.m. Gibault beat Valmeyer 25-20, 20-17 in the Marissa Section title match.
Bergschneider recorded 22 digs in the three-set victory to go along with his eight kills and two assists. Cox had 27 kills with his 21 digs and five blocks.
Celaina Herman has had 38 assists for the Crusaders, who have won seven straight games.
Contact Ryan Mahan: 857-246-9756, [email protected], Twitter.com/RyanMahanSJR.