“The girls are very court smart in being able to get around the blocks and getting something down,” Schlechte said. “Our hitters are very good at going down the line or a crosscourt shot.”
Tabbert stood out, Schlechte said, coming up with her nine kills against New Athens in a variety of ways against the Yellow Jackets’ double-block.
Tabbert and Knop led the charge for the Comets’ attacking game, while Quast and Becca Schlechte each finished with four kills.
“We like to move around a little bit more so the blocks on the other side don’t get set up on us,” Schlechte said. “Moving the sets around a little bit more throws the other team off a bit.”
Stew-Stras will be up against the Cougars, who have five players listed at 5-foot-10 or taller, including 6-foot-2 Adeja Lambert and 5-foot-11 Iman McGary. Lambert leads the team with 151 aces, while McGary has a team-high 332 kills this season.
But height isn’t something that scares the Comets. The team gained experience playing against bigger teams during the late October Mt. Pulaski Tournament, where they matched up against teams like Edwards County, Mt. Pulaski and Illini Central.
“The height, of course, is an issue, but we don’t want to focus on that too awfully much,” Schlechte said. “They make mistakes, otherwise the (West Prairie) game wouldn’t have been so close in that third set.”
West Prairie (30-7-2) took Keith Country Day to three sets in the first Class 1A semifinal on Friday, but lost 16-25, 25-21, 17-25.
Instead of focusing on the Cougars’ height advantage, Quast said the team is focusing on doing something they’ve been talking about all season.
“We talked all season about making history this year because we knew we had so much potential,” Quast said. “Now we start talking about Saturday and how we want to make Tammy (Manhart) live it up with us again because she’s been here before.”