MONTGOMERY — It doesn’t matter what the sport is or which venue it is played at, a Barr-Reeve-Loogootee match up always brings out the best in both schools.

And on Saturday night, the prize was the sectional volleyball title, and for the last several years — an invitation to go deep into IHSAA tournament.

For Barr-Reeve, currently ranked No. 1 in Class A, the four-game win gave the Vikes their second straight sectional title and a chance to defend its state runner-up title from last year.

After beating No. 6 Loogootee, and Shoals in the early game, the Lady Vikes reeled off their 34th straight win, as they have not lost since the state finals.

However, the Lady Lions did not go down easy in the 25-16, 21-25, 25-16 and 25-17 win.

“There defense was great and we knew Phil (Goodpaster) would have them ready,” said B-R coach Amber DeCoursey. “I thought they did that in this game.

“This is the type of game we needed going into regional. This is the kind of game that helps get you ready.”

In the first game, B-R was able to build a 15-7 lead, but a Lion kill from Lauren Walton and the serving of Addison Dant led LHS back to 13-17. However, it was quite enough, as the Vikes won 25-16.

In the second game, Loogootee performed one of the rarest of feats this year, they took a game from Barr-Reeve, for only the third time this season, B-R lost, 25-21.

“We knew with the energy Loogootee was bringing in to the match, they would probably get one,” said DeCoursey.

The Vikes had an early lead at 11-7, but the Lions’ Hannah Lamar, helped serve them back to an 11-11 tie. A kill from B-R’s Maggie Sanders looked like it would ice the game at 20-16. But the Lions came back to take a 21-20 lead and looked like they would go up 22-20, before a net violation awarded the point to B-R and tied the game. However, LHS got the last four points and tied the match at 1-1.

The Lions took a 3-0 lead in the third game, but B-R went on an 8-1 run. But just like the second game LHS fought back to 10-8. Haley Taylor then posted a surprise dink to make it 11-8 and give Vikes some breathing room. Hilliary Fox had one of her patented kills to make it 15-11 and B-R was on its way to a 10-5 run.

In the fourth and final game, B-R was in control from the beginning. They led at 7-2, with Loogootee only closing to three points once at 12-9. The Vikings continued to roll, as they moved to the 25-17 win.

DeCoursey feels there are things they need to work on before next week.

“Serving — we are definitely going to work on serving this week. We missed about seven serves. We where trying to serve deep, that is still no excuse for missing seven.

“However, I was very pleased with the way our girls never quit.”

The Vikings were led by senior Fox who had a monstrous 23 kills in the final and 19 against Shoals. Sanders and Taylor also combined for 23 kills. Fox also had 20 digs, while Tya Harmon had 18 and Lindsey Graber added 15. Terrell had 50 assists, along with 14 points and three aces. Cassidy Helms and Fox also added 11 service points.

Lady Viking Fox, who will be heading to play volleyball at Purdue next season, said the support of the student body and community has helped make this a special season.

“The students and fans have supported us with everything they do,” said Fox. “They do so much for us, it is nice that we can give something back to them.”

Fox said she didn’t want to compare this year’s team with last year, but she added “This team is really connected both inside and outside the gym and that gives us so much confidence.”

In the semifinal games, B-R beat Shoals, 25-11, 25-14 and 25-14, while Loogootee dusted Rivet, 25-19, 25-8 and 25-15.

Barr-Reeve is slated to play Springs Valley next Saturday at the Barr-Reeve Regional.

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