In some ways, Osbourn Park's volleyball win Monday night over Forest Park was even more satisfying than the landmark victory over the Bruins earlier in the season.
For one thing, the Yellow Jackets' 25-22, 18-25, 25-20, 25-21 triumph occurred at Forest Park, whereas the 3-1 win Oct. 6 was in front of a partisan crowd at Osbourn Park.
Coach Kate Southcott acknowledges that some volleyball followers might have considered her team's first win over the Bruins a fluke.
This one, not so.
"I don't think they were off, and we beat them," she said. "They struggled a little bit with serve-receive, but we served really well. They didn't get their balls to their hitters and we did. It was a great feeling.
"The first win over Forest Park . . . the kids were kind of nervous and running scared until the last point was out. I don't think my kids knew 100 percent that we'd win that night. Even though we lost game two [Monday] night, my team was never looking back. They never got the deer-in-the-headlights look of, can we be beaten by Forest Park again? [Monday] night they played like there's no way we're going to let this team beat us."
Forest Park (12-5) won the first meeting between the teams in four games Sept. 7. The third meeting was added to the schedule during the season to give each team more competition.
Both the Bruins and Osbourn Park have won all their other local matches via sweeps.
Osbourn Park senior Kaitlyn Crutchley and junior Monika Linden had 11 kills each, junior Ashley Ferry had eight and senior Adora Luster had seven kills and several blocks on Monday. Senior Kristen Wolf played a typically strong game on the back row, and senior Tiffany Myers's streak of seven consecutive serves, including a few aces, helped the Yellow Jackets erase a deficit in the first game.
Regardless of what happens in the Cedar Run District tournament next week, Osbourn Park (15-3) is assured of a No. 1 seed in the Northwestern Region tournament and a first-round home game.
The Cedar Run now awards the regular season champion the top regional seed; it used to be that the district tournament champion earned the top seed in regionals. The rule change is for all Cedar Run sports, not just volleyball.
"I think that the way we're doing it now is really the right way," Southcott said.
"It rewards your regular season. Otherwise, you play all season to only get to play number one in the district tournament, but the tournament is like a new season, and anything can happen."