Trojans win it all once again
Playing from behind isn’t something the Parkland girls volleyball has to do often. But that didn’t concern the Lady Trojans went they fell into a two-game deficit in Saturday’s state championship match against Hempfield.
When the stakes were at their highest, the Lady Trojans played their best, coming back to win the match 3-2 (23-25, 23-25, 25-15, 15-16, 15-12) and earn their second straight state championship.
“We’ve done it before,” said senior Siena Salvaggio, who led Parkland with 26 kills. “We know how to come back. Hempfield put up a good fight. They’re great competitors.”
It was the second straight state title match between the Trojans and Black Knights. The two teams also met in a tournament this year, with Parkland winning a three-set match 2-1.
Parkland led in each of the first two sets. In the first, the Trojan lead was never larger than three points, the last time coming at 16-13. The second game saw Parkland build a 21-17 margin before the Knights came back.
“The nice thing about this sport is there’s no clock, so you have win three,” said Parkland head coach Mike Krause. “We knew we were close. Last year we lost the first two to Exeter in the semifinals and won that. So that was a positive memory we could relate to.”
Parkland drew on that memory and jumped out to a 17-10 lead in game three before capping a 10-point win.
The fourth game saw Parkland move ahead 12-4 early and whiel the Knights got with two points three times in the game, the Trojans ran off eight straight points at the end of the set to even the match.
With momentum on their side, the Trojans took an early lead in the final set. The Knights got within a point of tying at 13-12, but Parkland closed out its second straight 26-0 season with the match’s final three points.
“I think the first two sets we were kind of just playing the game,” said senior Avery Perosa, who had 20 digs and seven blocks in the match. “We realized we really needed to fight for it. The last three games we played with heart.”
The Trojans became the first Parkland sports team to win back to back state titles.
Senior setter Kristin Krause had 20 digs and led the team with 58 assists in the state title match. Senior Sam Weber had 16 kills and senior Erika Foose had 14 kills.
Salvaggio ends her career with 1,023 kills. Krause leaves Parkland with 2,903 total assists, with 2,458 of them coming over the past two seasons.
This year’s senior class posted a combined record of 98-2 over its four years in the program.
While each championship is special, this one being their last season together and having it come against rival Hempfield in a five-set match, might be the most memorable.
“It’s better every time,” said Perosa. “I think its so special because we’re seniors. This is our last harrah.”
“After that huge comeback this win is so much sweeter,” said Kristin Krause. “It was great the first year and it’s even better this year.”