November 3, 2012

Cowan Emerges with Thrilling Five Set Victory for Class A State Title
Cowan survived a thrilling comeback bid by Loogootee to win the Class A volleyball state championship in five sets at Worthen Arena on Saturday.

The Blackhawks (27-10) jumped out to a quick advantage taking the opening two sets before Loogootee roared back with two wins of its own forcing a deciding fifth set. The Lions held an 11-8 advantage in Set 5 but Cowan went on a 7-2 run including six traight points to close out the match, 25-18, 25-17, 14-25, 21-25, 15-13.

It was the first state championship in an IHSAA team sport for the Delaware County school of 245 students after two previous runner-up finishes in this match (1999, 2000).

It was also the first state championship match since 2007 to be decided in five sets and the just the second time the Class A match went the distance. That one also involved Loogootee. In 2006, the Lions fell to Marquette Catholic in five sets.

Mallory Bruner led Cowan with 14 kills followed by Kristina Flowers with 13. Loogootee’s Christina Ziegler and Michala Beasley led all players with 20 kills a piece.

Fifth-ranked Cowan was coached by Ralph Pancho Alvarez, while No. 3 Loogootee was guided by Lacey Wade. It was the fourth runner-up finish for Loogootee (2005, 2006, 2007).

Mallory Bruner named Mental Attitude Award winner
At the conclusion of the state finals, the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Mallory Bruner of Cowan High School as the winner of the Mental Attitude Award.

Bruner is a three-year letter-winner and led the volleyball team in kills this year.  With a 3.5 GPA during her high school career, she is a member of the National Honor Society, the Key Club and also participates in softball for the Blackhawks.

She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Bruner of Muncie, Ind. and plans to attend Ball State University where she’ll study Speech Language Pathology.

Each year the IHSAA Executive Committee selects a senior player who was nominated by her principal and coach and was determined to have best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Cowan High School in the name of Mallory Bruner.