“Initially he gave us the point,” Vernon said. “I think in that situation the up official is supposed to make the final determination and make his call. He made his call first and then the down official made the call. I’m not blaming the officials because in a couple crucial situations there at the very end of the game we didn’t pass the ball real well.”
Syd Bullard led the Berries with 19 kills and 11 digs in the contest. Nakeya Penny had 10 kills and two blocks, and Monika Ness had seven kills and a block.
Katie Easter and Hannah Jones each recorded four aces. Easter added 22 assists and 10 digs, and Jones had 19 assists and six digs. Lindsey Cheney collected 10 digs.
Karlee Vernon had four kills and six digs, and Kailey Vernon had five digs. Paulie Frye added three kills, five digs and a block.
The Berries graduate five seniors: Cheney, Jones, Frye, Kailey Vernon and Lauren Pruitt.
“It’s tough when you’ve got five seniors that are playing and one of them’s your daughter and she’s playing and she’s graduation on,” Jon Vernon said. “I feel bad for them, I feel bad that it ended this way because I know they really wanted to be in this championship game tonight. But sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”
The Berries finished one win shy of extending their streak of five straight years of winning at least 20 matches. They averaged over 24 wins per season the previous four seasons including winning 26 last year.
“We did play a tougher schedule of what they’ve ever played in the past. Teams were better,” Jon Vernon said. “We went to Zionsville and played in a tournament. We played Crown Point, a very good, athletic team. And that’s no excuse, but we are playing better competition. We let West Lafayette get away from us, we let Kokomo get away from us. So right there we’re at 21-11. Those were games we just let get away.