Indians end Niners’ runGary Andrean Mellisa Egert, left and Kathleen Sievert blocks a shot during the IHSAA Class 3A volleyball semi-state at Plymouth High School, Plymouth, Ind. Saturday Oct. 29, 2011.| Joe Raymond ~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 29, 2011 10:33PM
PLYMOUTH — After all of Andrean’s historic feats this fall, Saturday’s loss in the Class 3A Plymouth Semistate semifinals was pretty hard to swallow.
As she reflected on the 3-0 sweep at the hands of South Bend St. Joseph’s, 59ers senior Taylor Mullen couldn’t hold back a light stream of tears.
“Well, ultimately it feels good to have gotten this far … but it really stinks,” Mullen said of the loss, which ended a 31-6 campaign, including the 59ers’ first semistate appearance since 1998 and a rematch with the same Indians team that the 59ers had faced in past regionals.
Despite the 59ers’ success under first-year coach Julie Wiejak, their defense couldn’t contain St. Joseph’s attack. Following a back-and-forth 25-23 St. Joseph’s win, the Indians shut down the 59ers by more lopsided tallies of 25-17 and 25-15.
“I think the overall experience was just so emotional,” Wiejak said. “I feel like we let our energy level denote our play.”
In the opening set, Andrean’s defense looked its most vibrant. Whenever the Indians (26-10) were able to get timely runs, Andrean pulled out good stops. The deciding score was on the last play. But then a 10-3 run by St. Joseph’s in the second set set the tone for the rest of the morning. During the final two sets, Andrean found itself in early holes and couldn’t dig itself out.
“When things started to spiral away, we did what we could,” Wiejak said.
Mullen, an outside hitter, led the 59ers with 18 kills.
“I think it didn’t really hit us until we were on the court,” she said of the atmosphere.
St. Joseph’s 6-foot-1 middle-hitter Lauren Gillis was tough; she had three block kills.