MUNCIE, Ind. -- After every practice this season, Bishop Chatard coach Nick Wolf told his players they were the best team in the state. In the end, they proved him right.
No. 3 Chatard won the Class 3A championship over No. 1 and defending state champion Yorktown 25-20, 19-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-12 in Worthen Arena on the campus of Ball State University.
"We stressed a lot about coming out, thinking we're the best team in the state, and knowing we're the best team in the state," Wolf said. "We have preached that from day one."
It was a rematch of last year's state championship match, which Yorktown won in straight sets. The Tigers (35-4) also beat Chatard 2-0 during an in-season tournament in August.
"At first we didn't quite believe we were the best because we lost last year (in the state finals)," said Chatard senior Anna Logan, who had a match-high 20 kills. "By the end of the season we knew, and now we do know we're the best team in the state."
As the match went into a fifth set, players were confident after winning all four matches in the regular season that went the distance. "I walked into the huddle and said, 'Let's do it one more time,'" said Wolf.
Chatard (32-7) took an early 8-5 lead in the fifth set, with Marissa Collier providing three of her eight kills during the span. Logan and setter Ellen Schroeder finished the match when their block of Yorktown standout Nikki Box hit the line for the winning point.
Chatard's hitting percentage in each set told the tale of the match. In the three sets the Trojans won, they had nine hitting errors. In the two sets Chatard lost, it had 16 hitting errors.
"From set four to set five, the difference was ball control," Wolf said. "We started passing well and running our offense," said Collier, who had eight kills and 15 digs, and was named the Mental Attitude Award winner. She is third in her class with a 4.3 grade-point average and was an ICGSA Academic All-State selection.
"It means a lot and I credit it to my teammates," Collier said. "I do my best to keep everyone on the court calm and collected, and they always do a great job in helping me out in that way."
Suspense wasn't limited to the match on the court. After receiving medals and conducting some interviews, Chatard players and assistant coaches gathered in a circle in the tunnel leading to the court. Wolf then entered the middle of the circle, got on bended knee, and proposed to girlfriend and volunteer assistant coach Suzanne Van Schaak.
In a fitting end to the day, Van Schaak, a Ball State graduate, said yes to a question players knew was coming if they beat Yorktown. "We found out yesterday and (Wolf) showed us the ring," Logan said. "It got us all excited, and I think it gave us another reason to want to win."
Hannah Gardner had 14 kills for Chatard, while Schroeder had 47 assists. Mary Kilbane provided 22 digs.
Top-ranked Wapahani repeated as Class 2A state champion by beating No. 2 Providence in four games.Providence (35-5) won the first game 25-22. Wapahani (33-4) then won 25-15, 25-6, 25-22. Aubriegh Applegate contributed 21 kills for Wapahani. Wapahani's Paige Williamsonwon the 2A Mental Attitude Award.
No. 5 Cowan won its first Class A state title in any team sport by beating No. 3 Loogootee (34-5) in five games. Cowan (27-10) won the first two games, then dropped two in a row before winning 15-13 in the fifth game. Mallory Bruner, the Class A Mental Attitude Award winner, led Cowan with 14 kills.