MOLINE, Ill. -- The smile said it all. As she began her postgame interview on Thursday night, Moline volleyball coach Sarah Fetter couldn't help but grin from ear-to-ear.
In her first season as the coach of the Maroons, Fetter led her team to a 25-7, 25-16 victory over Quincy High School to finish the Western Big Six Conference 12-2, which clinches at least a tie for the league title for the fourth straight year.
"Of course, I have always had it in my mind how I would do in my first season as head coach," Fetter said. "Still, it is all about these girls and all they have achieved."
Moline sophomore Ella Ramsay knows how much this means for her coach.
"At the beginning, I think there may have been some nerves," Ramsay said. "As she went along, she showed she is really composed and able to stay calm. She is a new coach, and while everyone knows her from her playing days and as an assistant coach, I'm sure people wondered how she would do. Now, she is a Big 6 champion coach."
The Maroons (17-5) did it in a dominating effort against a strong Quincy team. Moline took over from the start, running off 14 points to build a 15-1 lead in the first set.
"You can't let anyone go on a 14-0 run and expect anything good was going to come out of that," Quincy coach Tim Hill said. "That is on me. We had been playing so well, I decided to give them a lax practice and we didn't come out ready. We were not mentally prepared.
"No discredit to Moline, they are really good, but we were just not ready to play. We started thinking about the last point instead of the next point. That never works out well."
It was a bit of a redemption for a couple Maroons. Madison Chase, who struggled on her serve during the middle part of the season, was on serve for 13 straight points in that early run.
"I know Madison is really excited," Fetter said. "We have really worked hard on our serves. That 15-1 start was huge but what I really liked is we didn't do any scoreboard watching, we just kept playing."
Ramsay also had a big night after some struggles in recent games. She finished with 10 kills and a block, seven of those kills in the second set.
"Ella saw the block really well and was much better on transition," Fetter said.
Added Ramsay, "This was really nice. Sophia (Potter, 18 assists) have been working on our connections. Our passing and defense was so good, it allowed me to get set up better. I never looked at the scoreboard. I knew were were winning but I just wanted us to keep playing composed and positive."
Both Fetter and Ramsay will now stop wanting to beat Quincy (15-9, 7-5 WB6) and hope the Blue Devils can win next Saturday against Sterling, which is 11-2 in the Big 6.