The Durand Lady Bulldogs brought a 34-1-1 record to Redbird Arena for the program's first ever girls volleyball state appearance on Friday. Stewardson-Strasburg outlasted Durand in a three-set thriller to advance to the 1-A state championship match, and send the Lady Bulldogs to just their second loss of the season.
The Lady Comets won the first set, 27-25, before the Lady Bulldogs regrouped and took the second set, 26-24. Durand couldn't keep up in the winner-take-all final frame, falling 25-19 before a packed house at Illinois State.
Durand's season has one more match on the schedule - the consolation game on Saturday at 9:00 against Newark.
"Look how far we've come," said head coach Molly Kelsey. "We are better than all but possibly two or three teams in the state. We have a great record. They played amazing, it's more of, don't be sad. Look how far we've come. We still have tomorrow, so let's embrace where we are."
Big Blue was well represented in the stands as fans flocked south to ISU for the 1-A Final Four. They'll be back on Saturday to see the Lady Bulldogs bring home their first state placer trophy in girls volleyball.