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Eisenhower’s Brooke Bross hammers down a kill against an El Reno player during the first set in Tuesday’s 5A Regional at the Eagle Gym. The Eagles beat El Reno and then edged Southeast to claim the title and advance to the state tournament.Eisenhower’s Moira Milne (14) spikes the ball during the Eagles’ 3-0 victory over El Reno in regionals Tuesday at Eagle Gym.

Eagles soar to State

Ike reaches first volleyball state tournament in school history

“As long as we overcome it, it’s a good thing. I don’t like it if we didn’t overcome it. It could have easily gone the other way. A couple things here and there. I have to give it to Southeast. They played the best I have ever seen them play. They challenged us for every point. I think we were feeling a little bit of that pressure.”

For the first time in program history, the Eisenhower volleyball team has made it to the state tournament.

Ike beat Southeast in four sets Tuesday night 25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 25-21 in the regional championship.

Ike came into the tournament the favorite not only because it was hosting, but it had also already defeated Southeast convincingly earlier in the season.

The Lady Eagles appeared the part in the first two sets but then stumbled in the third and then looked to be in real trouble late in the fourth.

Leading 20-11, the state tournament berth looked like a formality until Southeast went on an unexpected run. The Spartans won 10 of the next 11 points to tie the set at 21-21.

Ike head coach Becky Martin then called timeout and had this message for her team:

"I was trying to keep them focused in on our game and to not worry about them, the officials the calls or anything and they stepped up," Martin said. "I challenged the seniors, you've got the experience you step up. Right now if you want it, this determines who wants it more. That's what I told them that last timeout."

The Lady Eagles rose to the occasion. Tavai Ieremia came through with a kill right out of the timeout and then Malaysia McCollum followed that up with a kill of her own. An ace from Micah Bell-Boehme then made it match point. The final point was one of the longer ones as Southeast continued to refuse to roll over and die. But ultimately, a set found McCollum in prime position for a spike, which she hammered through the Southeast defense to clinch the match.

"It feels good that we finally pulled it off," Martin said. "I was worried there for a little bit because we kind of started playing tight and almost more afraid of making a mistake instead of playing to win. We talked about being mentally tough no matter what the score, playing together and perfect effort. When you have several mistakes you've got to get back to the basics. I was so glad they pulled that together. 

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