MUNCIE — For the second time in three years, Trinity Lutheran came within one set of a Class A state volleyball title, but couldn’t quite finish the deal.
The top-ranked Cougars led No. 3 Lafayette Central Catholic two sets-to-one Saturday at Ball State’s Worthen Arena. But the Knights outscored Trinity 40-19 over the final two sets to pull out a 30-28, 18-25, 17-25, 25-12, 15-7 victory.
The Cougars got off to a slow start, falling behind 11-4 in the first set. LCC had five set points at 24-19, but Trinity rallied to tie the set, then took leads of 27-26 and 28-27 before the Knights scored the final three points to finish it off.
Sets 2 and 3 belonged to the Cougars. Trinity led the second set 18-17 before pulling away, gaining set point on a Bailey Tabeling kill.
In the third set, LCC led 15-12 before the Cougars scored seven in a row, the last six with Addison Darlage at the service line, to take a 19-15 lead. Kamzi Gross served the final four points, and Stella Kleffman finished the set with a kill.
Set 4 was all Knights. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never let Trinity in it.
LCC also led from start to finish in the fifth set. The Cougars were within 4-3 and 6-4 before the Knights (27-9) pulled away to take the title.
Addison Darlage led Trinity (30-5) with 49 assists and two aces. Ruthie Bingham pounded 17 kills, Bailey Tabeling and Carson Bowling each had three block assists and Gross notched 26 digs.
Also for the Cougars, Tabeling recorded 15 kills, Bowling added nine kills and Kleffman contributed 11 kills, one assist, two block assists, 24 digs and one ace. Laura Roeder tallied two assists and nine digs, Darlage had two block assists and 10 digs, Bingham tallied 12 digs and one ace and Gross served one ace.