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A no doubter, but Rockets can’t believe it

Even as they were celebrating with their friends and families ... even as they posed for pictures with the IHSA sectional championship plaque clutched tightly in their hands, it still didn’t feel real to the Rock Falls Rockets.

After waiting for so long to take that next step, the Rockets volleyball team emphatically leaped over the hurdle in front of them, dominating the Class 3A Mendota Sectional championship match against Dunlap on Thursday in a 25-11, 25-18 victory.

“It’s almost disbelief,” longtime coach Sheila Mammosser said. “For so long, it’s been what if, what if, what if. Well, now we’re one win away from what if, and I couldn’t be more happy or proud of this team.”

The win moves Rock Falls (29-10) into the 3A Galesburg Supersectional at 6 p.m. Saturday to face Champaign Centennial, a 25-10, 25-16 winner over Metamora in the Normal U-High Sectional final. Rock Falls knocked out Princeton in last week’s regional semifinals.

“It doesn’t seem real; my mind is blown right now,” Rock Falls senior Morgan Mammosser said. “This is so amazing, so exciting, just so much better than I ever imagined … and I’ve imagined this a lot. I just have to keep telling myself, ‘This is real.’”

“There are only eight teams left in 3A … and we’re one of them,” Rock Falls senior Jordan Giddings said. “I just can’t believe it.”

Class 2A: Port Byron Riverdale captured the Sherrard Sectional championship by defeating future conference rival Orion 25-16, 25-21. Riverdale, the Three Rivers champion, will face Watseka at 3 p.m. at the Serena Supersectional. Watseka was a 25-23, 19-25, 25-21 winner over the host at Seneca.

Junior college: St. Bede alumnus Hailee Brayton and the IVCC Lady Eagles swept Waubonsee in straight sets in first round regional Division II-District A tournament play on the Hilltop Wednesday.

Brayton had an all-around night with nine points, two aces, eight kills and four blocks in IVCC’s 25-14, 25-17, 5-19 victory. Former Lady Bruin teammate Kayla MacDavitt added four kills, and Hall product Johnna Schultz had 15 assists.

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