NCOE headed back to state after sweeping Trico

Darren Kinnard

CENTRALIA — The NCOE Fighting Cardinals are headed back to the 1A Volleyball State Semifinals for the third time in seven years after beating Trico 25-16, 25-10 to capture the Christ Our Rock Lutheran Supersectional in Centralia.

NCOE used a pair of big scoring runs to subdue the Pioneers. Leading 19-16 in the opener, the Fighting Cardinals scored the final six points to take game one.

In game two, it was an even bigger run. NCOE scored 13 out of 14 points including nine straight at one point to complete the sweep.

The Fighting Cardinals improve to 38-2. They will face Springfield Lutheran at 10:30 Friday morning at Redbird Arena in Normal in the second 1A semifinal. Freeport Aquin will take on Newman Central Catholic in the first semi.

Trico ends the best season in school history at 37-2, with the program’s first supersectional appearance.