“I’m so proud of my team,” Foran High girls volleyball coach Julie Johnson said after her sixth-seeded Lions lost to top-seeded Woodland Regional, 3-1 (25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 25-15), in the Class M state finals at Berlin High on Saturday.

“Woodland was the better team today, no doubt. We had a lot of emotional roller-coasters during the (regular) season and that is what brought us here. I’m proud of this team getting to the finals."

Woodland (21-1) took game one convincingly, but Foran (16-8) made the second set a difficult one for the Hawks.

Abby Amann gave the Lions an 8-0 lead with the game’s first service, including five aces by the senior.

Woodland’s Samantha Lee countered with a six-point stay at the stripe.

The rest of the set saw things tied seven times, with Lion libero Dani Kemp turning back the Hawk hitters. The last deadlock came at 23 on a Hawk error in the back row.

But Woodland’s Abbey Rosato earned a side out, and Class M final MVP Brianna Pacileo had the winning kill.

Foran took game three, but had to rally from a 10-4 deficit to do so.

Janae Owen had a hit through a block to get the side out, and the Lions kept pace until Amann returned to serve at 13-8 Woodland and put together four winners.

Fallon Bevino and Owen had winning spikes during this run, and Kelly Hunt added two more kills as the game went on to a tie at 15.

Jenna Zacarella had four straight winners, with Bryzy Gonski setting Lucy Weissauer and Bevino for points.

Jillian Gorman served Woodland to a tie at 22, but Bevino had a kill, the Hawks had a hitting error, and Hunt’s save off a block at the net led to a lifting call on Woodland and a 25-23 Lion win.

Game four was tied at 12 after one service rotation, with Kaylee Ciolino passing the ball well.

Woodland’s Hannah Deegan then put together five winners for a 17-12 lead.

Amann had two aces following Hunt’s sideout-earning tip, but Lee served out the match with seven straight winners.

See the next edition of the Mirror for complete story.