For Center Grove on Tuesday night, it was a matter of finishing.
The Trojans got off to solid starts and hung with Class 4A No. 3 Columbus East for parts of all three games. But the Olympians had too much firepower and pulled away in all three for a 25-19, 25-20, 25-13 victory for its fifth regional title in six years.
“I felt like we just couldn’t get it going,” Center Grove coach Dana Daprile said. “I felt like Columbus East came to play tonight, and we didn’t.
“I felt like they handled the pressure, and I don’t think we ever really played our game. It’s disappointing to end the season knowing you didn’t leave it all out there on the floor.”
The Trojans (17-14) led 5-4 in Game 1 before East (30-5) took control. Game 2 was tied at 11. Center Grove led 7-6 in Game 3 on an ace by senior Lauren Mroz, and the Trojans were within 16-13 before the Olympians ran off the final nine points to end it.
“One thing I was very impressed about Center Grove was, they handled the ball,” Columbus East coach Faith Wilder-Newland said. “For a young team, they handled the ball better than I thought they would, and they really took good swings. They were impressive for their age.”
Mroz led the Trojans with two solo and four assist blocks. Sophomore Ali Line pounded eight kills, freshman Taylor Hammill recorded 20 assists and senior Kimber Marsh registered eight digs.
“I think (freshman) Madison Smeathers, our freshman middle, did a nice job,” Daprile said. “I think Ali Line did a nice job going in back row and swinging in the middle for us. I just felt like we couldn’t get on all cylinders with all six of them out there on the floor really to get us going good enough against a good team like that.”