The Division II state volleyball championship was hard fought throughout and competitive from the onset, but the Teurlings Catholic Rebels managed to win, just as they’ve done every single game they’ve played this season.
The top seeded Rebels swept the third-seeded Cabrini Crescents 25-16, 25-20, 25-15 to finish their season 42-0 and win their fifth state championship in a row, their first in Division II.
Rebels coach Terry Hebert was proud of what his team did on the court, but he was more proud of what his players have shown off the court.
“As good as these players are at volleyball they’re even better kids,” said a teary-eyed Hebert. “These are such great kids and they play for each other. In 26 years of coaching, no matter what the group at the end of the season, I just want one more day with them. Yes 42-0 is awesome, but if you ask any coach this is the reason we do what we do, for moments like this with kids like this.”
Junior Ariana Hebert, the coach’s daughter and the Most Outstanding Player of the match, felt the same way.
“Our goal from the start of the season was the state championship,” she said. “We were never concerned about breaking records or win streaks or anything like that; our mission was to take home a state title, and I’m just really happy we were able to get one tonight.”
Crescents coach Kasey Laird-Dennies also was proud of the way her team played.
“I thought we did a really good job defensively,” she said. “I thought we hit the ball well. I thought we played with aggression and energy, and while it’s not the result we would’ve wanted, I’m really proud of the way we played everything we accomplished this season.”
The Crescents scored the first two points of the first set and kept it close early, but the Rebels’ precision and power, starting with Hebert and eighth-grader Jolie Hidalgo, proved too much as the Rebels took the set 25-16. Hidalgo finished with 13 kills and Hebert with 41 assists and four aces in her MOP performance.
Teurlings scored the first six points of the second set, but Cabrini came fighting back to tie it at 10-10. The Rebels pulled away with another 6-0 run and took the set 25-20.
The Crescents fought hard and never lost determination in the third set, but Teurlings took control early and won the set 25-15 to complete the sweep.
So, after a perfect 42-win season and 54 straight victories dating to last season, what do the Rebels have planned next?
“The future looks bright,” coach Hebert said. “We’ve got a lot of underclassmen returning to us and a lot of them played today, so we’re well-primed and I’m really excited for what we can do next season. I’m proud of what we did today.”