Putting winning girls volleyball teams on the court is a tradition at St. Joseph, which qualified for this year’s Class M state final with a thorough 3-0 victory over Haddam-Killingworth in Milford on Tuesday.

The top-seeded Cadets (24-2) will play  No. 7 East Haven (20-4) for the title on Saturday at 4 p.m. at East Haven High. The Easties defeated No. 3 Seymour, 3-2, in their semi.

St. Joseph has been crowned Class M champions on five occasions, the last being in 1997 with a 3-2 victory over E.O. Smith.

It has been to two other state finals (runners-up in 2001 to Darien and 2014 to Granby Memorial), but that doesn’t mean this trip has lost its luster.

“We worked hard for this all year, and our chemistry was great,” head coach Jeff Babineau said of his squad’s 25-19, 25-13, 25-10 sweep of the fourth-ranked Cougars.

“We kept the pressure on….Kept them out of their system all night. And we capitalized on all they did wrong.”

Senior setter Grace Vocalina had 24 assists, and covered the block with a ferociousness that belies her frame.

“We kept the pressure on….Kept them out of their system all night. And we capitalized on all they did wrong.”

Senior setter Grace Vocalina had 24 assists, and covered the block with a ferociousness that belies her frame.

“Honestly, it was electric,” Vocalina said of the match. “There was so much energy on the court. We just kept pushing. Our passing was so good today, and that helped me get the ball to our hitters.”

Elena Ball had nine kills to go with 19 service points, including two aces.

Bridget Fatse had seven kills and two blocks.

Christina Crocco had six kills and two blocks

Maddie Johnson and Jenna Koonitsky paired with Crocco to make life difficult at the net for the Cougars’ Samantha Mohammed, Kristen Dansereau and Emily Jennings.

But it was St. Joseph’s overall team performance, and the Cadets’ frontline hitters ability to stay active at the net to extend points that wowed Haddam-Killingworth coach Robin Callender.

“They took us right out of the games, they are an incredible team,” Callender said after her club finished its season with a 19-4 record.

“I told my players that we are now in the semis and we can’t give them an eight- or ten-point lead. We never got into a groove. St. Joe’s gets the job done and have great hitters.”

At 5-5 in the first set, a Koonitsky pass led to Fatse’s sideout kill.

With Hannah Hutchison serving, Koonitsky had a winning spike followed by a block on the Cougars’ lanky Jennings to put St. Joseph on top for good.

Ball, a junior who handles back row duties and then steps up as an outside hitter, was player of the match.

She had seven service points on two trips to the stripe in the first set, giving the Cadets a 21-11 advantage.

It was her save off the block, and a pair of outstanding plays at net by classmate Johnson, that extended an exciting rally at 23-12 that had the crowd roaring.

The point eventually went to the Cadets.

Vocalina served eight winners in her turn at serve to start the second set, with spikes from Ball accounting for two of those markers.

Ball followed with a six-point run of her own, including two aces, to put St. Joseph on top 16-3.

Libero Kaitlin Capobianco added a pair of aces.

Allie Petronchak served out the second set with with three winners, including an ace.

Ball had six winners in the third set, with Fatse and Crocco putting down telling spikes to hold off the Cougars.