SHELBYVILLE -- Decatur St. Teresa used its power and quickness to win its second straight Central Illinois Conference title, defeating Shelbyville 25-15, 25-16 Thursday night.
"They are a quick team," Shelbyville coach Jamie Watson said. "We don't see very many quick teams like that. I saw some good things on our side, but I saw some things we need to improve on. There is not much time to do that, but we will work on those. St. Teresa is a great team."
St. Teresa scored the first four points of the second set as Caleigh Craft served three points and helped herself with a block. Addison Newbon, a 5-9 junior, had a kill as well. Shelbyville was within three, 11-8 after a tip by Kyleigh Marty, when the Lady Bulldogs went on a 4-0 run that included two aces by Craft. Grace Buxton served three points, including an ace, as the Lady Bulldogs took control with a 19-9 advantage.
Shelbyville didn't get closer than seven points the rest of the way and the match ended on a block by Audrey Banning.
"We have peaked in the last two weeks," said St. Teresa coach Brad Dalton. "Before we were not clicking on all cylinders, but the last two weeks we have been pretty good."
In the first set, St. Teresa led 8-6 after a kill by Shelbyville's Mia Wade. A service error gave the Lady Bulldogs the serve and they reeled off nine unanswered points, which included several blocks as well as two kills by Newbon. Abby Robinson served most of the points during the pivotal run. Craft, a 5-11 junior, had the blocks. Cami Lobb served the final point for St. Teresa, which ended in a kill by Newbon.
"We got a lot of kids in there at the end of the first set," said Dalton. "We wanted to get everyone in as some won't play next week, as we are only going to go with the best kids."
Marty and Madi Cisna led Shelbyville in kills with five apiece.
"We contained her (Marty) pretty well, but a lot of it had to with the fact we are a fairly aggressive serving team and we had them out of system a lot. It wasn't like the setter was right there at the net throwing it up to her. "
The Lady Bulldogs did help Shelbyville out in the first set with four service errors.
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It was Senior Night for the Lady Rams as Marty and Carsen Beyers were honored prior to the contest.
Shelbyville began the season going 3-6, but had won 16 of its last 22 and entered with a 19-10 record.
"I made some changes in the lineup," said Watson. "I had a couple of freshmen I brought to the floor (Mia Wade and Mallory Holland) and they each added something to our team not necessarily in points, but it was the energy we needed. We have a great passer out there and I think that is one of the biggest things that has helped us improve a lot. "
Wade finished with seven assists, while Alexis Rhodemann had nine digs for the 19-11 Lady Rams.
It is Shelbyville's 12 straight season where they have won at least 20 matches.
Last season, the Lady Bulldogs finished third in the state in Class 1A, going 29-11.
Shelbyville will travel to Mount Pulaski Saturday for a tournament, while St. Teresa, 26-5, will be at a tournament hosted by Quincy Notre Dame.
"Things are coming together and we are ready for postseason," said Dalton.
The Lady Rams will go for their 12th straight 20-win season in the tourney. They play Mount Pulaski, WSS and Edwards County in pool play.