Castle volleyball grateful for trials ahead of first state championship appearance

Sports

PARADISE, Ind. (WEHT) – On Saturday, Castle volleyball will play in its first-ever state championship game. However, the Knights aren’t quick to forget the ups and downs that led them to this point.

The success of the 2021 campaign began last season. Last October, the Knights snapped a 26-year sectional winning streak – the longest in the state. It was a demoralizing loss after a 28-3 season.

Yet that loss is what fueled the Knights to bounce back even better.

“If we had not finished last season, as disappointing as it was in that moment, we would not be here where we are today,” said head coach Daniel Watson. “It really helped us to reexamine how we prepare, so we do things so much differently, more intentionally this year. I think the results speak for themselves.”

Castle used that loss to reinvent itself this season. Watson said the team changed its preparation, and the results are evident. They’re 32-2 and didn’t lose a single set in SIAC play.

“I think having that happen, we started two months earlier, we started in April,” said senior Keira Moore. “I think we worked harder during this offseason. I think that we said that nothing is promised. We can’t go in a game thinking we’re going to win. We can’t look past anyone. I think we’ve worked harder due to that.”

“We wanted to come in and start a new streak in sectionals,” said senior Layla Wandel. “That was our goal all season, was just sectionals. We just wanted to take it bit by bit. Then we hit regionals, and we were like, ‘We can really do this.’ Last year kind of sucked, but this year is better than anything I could ever imagine.”

Castle will get the chance to win its first state title in school history on Saturday when they face McCutcheon in the 4A state championship.

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