No. 1 Yorktown (35-3) and No. 3 Bishop Chatard (31-7) will meet in a rematch of last year's Class 3A high school volleyball state championship match, which the Tigers won in straight sets, 25-13, 25-19, 25-15. The teams meet at 3 p.m. Saturday in Ball State's Worthen Arena. (The complete state finals schedule appears on C15.) Here are five things to watch:
Take-away from earlier matchup
Chatard lost to Yorktown 2-0 during an in-season tournament Aug. 25. The Trojans lost the first set 25-23, then libero Mary Kilbane was injured in the second set. So, what was the take-away from that match?
"(The injury) made it a little uneasy for the girls," Wolf said, noting he wouldn't take much away from that match. "We're a totally different team on offense. We pass a lot better and we're better on defense."
Same team, different matchups
While the teams are the same in this year's state championship, not all of the players return. Yorktown's two big hitters from last year's team -- Emily Wolfert and Kelsey Barker -- graduated after combining for 33 kills in the title game. Nikki Box, a 5-6 outside hitter, leads Yorktown this season with 447 kills, while Courtney Chowning, a 5-9 outside hitter, has added 305.
"They don't make a lot of mistakes," Wolf said. "They lost their two middles, but from what I've seen, (this year's hitters) keep the ball in play, are very consistent and very good players."
Chatard, meanwhile, returns all but one player from last year.
Its balanced offense features five players with at least 150 kills -- Anna Logan (320 kills), Marissa Collier (294), Annalise Lowry (209), Hannah Gardner (194) and Addie Ruxer (158).
Chatard has won 21 of 22 matches and is the only team to have beaten 4A finalist Carmel this season.
"The confidence is very different to last year," said Wolf. "The girls have told me that this team has confidence and knows they are a great team, and know they can win state if they come and do what they know they're capable of doing."
Setting the tone
Much like a quarterback in football, the setter gets a lot of the credit when things go well offensively ... and blame when they don't. Wolf is comfortable with senior Ellen Schroeder (1,073 assists) directing the attack.
"When she's on, we're on," Wolf said. "She's a huge importance to our team and our success. It's a very controlled offense and a lot of changing of positions and a lot of movement on our offensive front."
When discussing what will likely make the difference in Saturday's title match, Wolf has little hesitation.
"Ball control," he said.
Chatard will be counting on Kilbane (502 digs), Robyn Van Vliet (338) and Collier (283) to control the ball defensively. If not, then Chatard will struggle.
"Then we can't run our fast offense," Wolf said. "So it's going to be all about serve receive."