It was the third set where the Wildcats posed the strongest challenge to Providence's state championship bid. Mater Dei jumped out to a 6-3 lead following a kill from 6-foot-1 middle hitter Maura Meunsterman, who is an Indiana University commit in basketball and notched 11 kills.
Behind the service of junior setter Patricia Mattingly, who had three aces on the night, the Pioneers rattled off eight consecutive points to seemingly take control of the matchup with an 11-6 lead.
Mater Dei whittled away at the Providence advantage, and actually took a 24-23 lead following two consecutive service aces from Candace Harsh.
Following a Providence timeout, Harsh committed a service error and Mattingly earned her sixth kill of the night to allow the Pioneers to regain a 25-24 lead.
On the decisive point, junior outside hitter Hayley Libs stuffed a Megan Farny kill attempt at the net, and the Pioneer celebration was on.
"I saw it coming, and once I got to the net, I thought to myself, 'I've got this,’" said Libs, who had 11 kill. "It ended up being perfect."
The victory was highlighted by a superb performance by Mattingly, who came up with 35 assists and six kills to go along with the three aces on the night.
"Patricia has had an incredible season," Purchia said. "Offensively, the success we have. She's the mastermind behind it. For one, she's a great setter. She can pick apart an offensive group. And she plays awesome defense and is a great server. Not only that, but she's an attacking weapon at the net. She's a complete player. I can't say enough good things about what she's done for us this season."
CLASS 2A FOREST PARK SEMISTATE
PROVIDENCE 3, SPEEDWAY 0
Providence 25 25 25
Speedway 16 21 15
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI 3, UNION COUNTY 0
Mater Dei 25 29 25
Union Co. 18 27 15
PROVIDENCE 3, EVANSVILLE MATER DEI 0
Providence 25 25 26
Mater Dei 15 16 24
Providence: Patricia Mattingly 35 assists, 6 kills, 4 blocks, 3 aces; Haley Libs 11 kills; Taylor Wilson 11 kills; Jacquie Horning 7 kills; Mailie Daniel 7 kills.
Mater Dei: Maura Muensterman 11 kills; Megan Farney 21 assists; Tori Schickel 7 kills; Candace Harsh 5 kills.