The Stratford Tigers came into the championship game knowing what a remarkable season they’ve had: an undefeated 44-0 record, a second consecutive trip to state, and the chance to bring home a gold ball for the first time in school history.
But the defending champ Lake Country Lutheran had other plans…
“They were big hitters and they were hitting over the top of our blocks,” said Stratford Head Coach Brooke Kafka. “But I think we made some good adjustments and amped up our offense to kind of throw them off on their side so we could get some things going for us.”
The Tigers came out strong in the first set, going on a 6-0 run behind offensive passing.
But Stratford fell apart in the middle two sets, behind four Lightning hitters sporting double digits in kills.
“We were working so hard out there and no matter what we did it just seemed to not click and not go down,” said Senior, Outside Hitter, Mazie Nagel. “We put everything out there, but it just seemed like nothing was working for us.”
The Tigers weren’t going down without a fight… They could have flopped in set four, but they pushed the mental side of the game instead.
“I told the girls we were out for blood,” Nagel recalled. “I like to be very intense so I put it in terms of physical.”
The Lightning’s high-tempo offense proved to be too much for the Tigers, it was quickness they had never seen before.
“That was one heck of a team that went up against us,” said Kafka. “I’m proud of how we fought in that game taking them to the last wire.”
The tigers finish the season…44-1… But despite the almost perfect season, the girls said that record doesn’t matter, what matters is they’re still making program history by bringing home the silver ball.