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Charleston volleyball’s season has come to an end.

The Trojans lost to host Waterloo in the sectional semifinals Monday night, 25-21, 25-23.

"Really a good contest between what I thought were two pretty evenly matched teams," Charleston coach Steve Pamperin said by phone.

Charleston was tied with Waterloo at 23 points each in the second set before a side out and a kill allowed Waterloo to earn the sweep and advance to the sectional finals.

"Through the match, there was maybe a few points separation in each set. It was more trading points and siding out, trading points and siding out," Pamperin said. "One team would get a few points lead and the other would come back. There wasn’t a lot of separation there, just a grind-it-out match where they outlasted us.”

All told, Charleston (25-12) reached the 25-win mark for the first time in program history and captured its first regional title in 22 years with a three-set win over Effingham. The Trojans cruised past Olney in the semifinals, 25-16, 25-12, for an easy a sweep. They finished 8-4 in the Apollo, which tied for second place. They beat Mattoon twice.

“Losses are tough, but we had really positive season with the number of wins we had and a regional championship," Pamperin said. "They really accomplished a lot this year.”

All this came after a 2-10 conference finish and 17-19 overall record just a year prior with many of the same players. Charleston lost just two seniors from that team. Another year together, a new mindset and a new coach, Steve Pamperin, were two key parts of such a sudden and impressive turnaround.

“We had a flip in our head that we were not going to be that team anymore,” senior Abby Kallis said last week after the regional win.

Charleston will lose Kallis and fellow seniors and rotation mainstays Kaleigh Wilson, Kayla Rotramel and Natalie Coartney. Kat Blase, libero Hannah Buescher, Sydney Bennett and Ashlynn McPeak, among others, will be seniors in 2020.​

This story has been updated.

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Contact Patrick Engel at 217-238-6856. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickEngel_

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