NORMAL, Ill. -- The first set was a little shaky, but the Payson Seymour volleyball team showed the crowd at Redbird Arena why it's the favorite to win the Class 1A state title.
The Indians defeated Newark 25-21, 25-13 on Friday morning to advance to Saturday morning's state championship match.
The Indians trailed 18-12 in the first set before rallying. Kamryn Flesner and Riley Epperson both had three kills each in the comeback, and the set ended with two blocks by Josie Stanford and an ace by Epperson.
Payson Seymour raced to a 9-4 lead in the first set, and the Norsemen never got closer than four points. Stanford, the team's leading hitter, was limited to just four kills, but Flesner and Hylee Schmiedeskamp were effective on the outside.
Newark trailed 19-13 when the Indians closed on a six-point run. Three kills by Flesner fueled the surge, and the match ended on a hitting error by Newark's Madi Malone.
This story will be updated.