DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
All Lauren Mroz wanted for her 18th birthday was for the Center Grove volleyball team to extend its postseason to the regional.
So the Trojans senior made sure her own birthday wish came true.
Mroz recorded a team-high 10 kills to help the Trojans beat defending champion Franklin 25-19, 25-19, 25-23 in Saturday’s Class 4A sectional title match on the Grizzly Cubs’ home floor.
The sectional championship was Center Grove’s first since 2009, Mroz’s freshman year.
In the process, Center Grove also got revenge for its two regular-season losses against Franklin, including in the championship match of the Johnson County Tournament.
With the win, the Trojans advance to Tuesday’s Seymour Regional Tuesday for a quarterfinal match against No. 3 Columbus East.
Following the sectional trophy presentation, teammates circled Mroz and serenaded the 5-foot-11 outside hitter with “Happy Birthday.”
“I was part of our last sectional title as a freshman, and the only thing I wanted for my birthday this year was to win it again, and we did it,” Mroz said. “It’s the best feeling ever, and I’m so proud of our team. We played as a team, and we never stopped.
“We played our hearts out.”