Senior Jadyn Anderson gathered herself, and leaped for the ball. It was a perfect back set by Tanyon Schutjer – right in her wheelhouse. She cocked her arm mid-jump, and sent the ball whizzing over the net.
It was the 14-13 in the fifth set and with their season on the line, Central Springs scrambled to get underneath the ball. It caromed off one of the Panthers, and the ball came floating back over the net in a high arch.
Time seemed to stand still as the ball nearly grazed the ceiling, and landed with a thud- just inches outside the inbounds-line.
After holding their breath for the entire set, the St. Ansgar side erupted in cheers, pulling off a come-from-behind victory to advance to the next round of the playoffs.
The Saints had jumped to a 2-0 lead in the tilt, and looked to be the better team. But Central Springs rallied and evened it up at two a piece, and had St. Ansgar on the ropes in the deciding round.
“We did a good job in the first couple of games, then I think we got over confident.” said Coach Tyler Johnson. “But we had kids make plays at the end, and that was the difference.”
The Saints trailed by one or two points throughout the final set, but grabbed the momentum and surged past the Panthers to finish with a score of 15-13.
Anderson and Sophomore Blayne Koster lead the team with 9 kills apiece, and Schutjer added 34 assists.
The Saints will travel to Lake Mills for the next round game, which will be Monday at 7 pm.