LIMA — Experienced volleyball players tend to step up at the right moment.
Each time Elida made a run, Shawnee’s veteran players made the big play en route to a 25-15, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21 victory over Elida in a Division II sectional semifinal Wednesday at Lima Senior.
With the win, Shawnee advances to Saturday’s sectional final at 4:45 p.m. against No. 1-seed Celina. Celina defeated Bath in three straight games in Wednesday’s other sectional semifinal at Lima Senior.
Senior Bethany Pohjala led Shawnee with 14 kills and seven blocks. Senior Ashley Strawn dished out a game-high 23 assists for the Indians.
After Shawnee (7-16) controlled the first game, Elida (9-14) came back in the second set, putting Shawnee on its heels.
Shawnee coach Amy Knight said her team made too many unforced errors in the second game.
“We made too many mistakes in a row. You can’t have that many mistakes in a row and expect to win,” Knight said.
In both the third and fourth games, Shawnee fought off Elida’s runs to slip out with the victory.
“Credit them. …They know how to put the game away and we didn’t know how to finish points,” Elida coach Kevin King said. “I thought we came out dead and they came ready to play. That was the difference in my mind.
“We played a competitive game, but we didn’t rise above it and finish the points. I just really thought they wanted it more than us, tonight.”
Torie McAdams led Elida with 13 kills. McAdams and Aubrey Williams each had two blocks. Katie Hawk had 28 assists. Erika Kiel had 22 digs. Ally Bader served up three aces for the Bulldogs.
CELINA 3, BATH 0
Bath put up a tough battle, but Celina still managed to sweep the Wildcats 25-21, 25-15, 25-23 in Wednesday’s first sectional semifinal.
Michaela Wenning led Celina (13-10) with 16 kills. Teammate Emily Dorsten had 11 assists, while Mackenzie Dzendzel had four aces.
Kirsten Davis led Bath (8-16) with nine kills. Camille Martin dished out 13 assists for the Wildcats.
Wednesday’s victory was redemption for Celina. Last week, Bath defeated Celina in a league matchup.
“It was really eating at me,” Celina coach Amy Sutter said. “So we focused this week on being positive and focusing our energy on what we needed to do next. We came out positive and ready to win, tonight.”
Said Bath first-year coach Kelsey McCluer, “We were struggling on serve-receive and they were serving tough. We’re usually strong at serve-receive, but not tonight.”