That's the memory that York Suburban coach Jamie Evans will take away from Saturday's PIAA Class AA championship match against Bethlehem Catholic at the Ashenfelter Multi-Sport Arena at Penn State University.
In the end, however, the fight proved to be too much.
The Trojans consistently fell behind Bethlehem Catholic in every game of the finals. After rallying to take Game 1, the York-Adams League champs couldn't muster enough to overcome a talented Golden Hawk side.
Bethlehem Catholic raced out to early leads and hung on to claim the final three en route to a 23-25, 25-21, 25-20, 26-24 victory. The setback was the Trojan's first and only loss (21-1) of what was a historic season.
"I'm glad that they at least fought back and went home swinging," said Evans.
The Hawks put together a block that consistently had the Suburban attackers over-thinking at times.
"Their block was huge," Evans said. "They were timing it just perfectly. A lot of hitters kept saying that they were popping up on them and they didn't see it."
Jaryd Eshler, who finished with eight kills, admitted that the Hawk block was menacing.
"Their block definitely scared a few of us," Eshler said. "We just kept hitting into it and they just kept blocking. It just got to a point where you say to yourself, 'What am I supposed to do?' You start running out of options."
The duo of Evan Blair and Kyle Michalski blocked and attacked the Trojans relentlessly. Those attacks, in particular, were largely effective throughout the match.
"We knew about them in pool play," Evans said. "We just couldn't adjust to them."
Suburban never was completely out of any of the games, but couldn't find a way to chip away at the lead. Service errors and hitting errors prevented a complete comeback, which became frustrating, especially with a scrappy defense that made winning points a challenge.
"It's really frustrating," said sophomore Jacob Kauffman. "Hitting the ball over and have them hit it back...it's not a great feeling."
The Trojans mounted a late rally in Game 4 with hopes of replicating the kind of comeback they achieved in the semifinals against Ambridge. Suburban rebounded from a match-point to win that game before taking Game 5 against the Bridgers.
A repeat, however, wasn't in the cards.
Suburban evened the game three times (22-22, 23-23, 24-24) after trailing by as many as five points (20-15). The Hawks, though, set up Michalski for a big kill to make it 25-24 before Eshler's final attack sailed just wide.
"I'm glad that they pushed at the end," Evans said. "I didn't want them to go out that way."
Saturday's setback marked the final time that the majority of the Suburban roster will ever play with one another. Over their time together, this group of seniors - Eshler, Kody Deiter, Fred Gard, Ted Hinnenkamp, Justin Corsa, Wyatt Grossman, Gage Markey and Lucas DuMars - accomplished a lot.
They won the York-Adams regular season and playoff titles. They also claimed the school's first District 3 title before advancing the farthest of any team in the program's history.
"The underclassmen wanted (a state title) for (the seniors)," Evans said. "Winning the district title was pretty cool and to capture it for the first time was huge. That was a big night and we played really well."
Kauffman knows it will be tough next year without those eight seniors.
"They are really big shoes to fill," he said. "The seniors were a great group and I don't now really how we're going to replace them."
Hinnenkamp led the Trojans with 13 kills to go along with four blocks, while Kauffman and Brad Hartshone each tallied 10 kills apiece. Gard led the defense with 21 kills, while Deiter dished out 43 assists.