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Woodlan’s Brooke Romines, right, hits the ball against blockers Haley Gross, left, and Whitney Peterson of Adams Central during Tuesday’s Class 2A volleyball sectional.

Warriors pay back Jets, grind out sectional win

– Woodlan had to work for it and even wait awhile but finally got its breakthrough win against Adams Central in the opener of the Woodlan Class 2A volleyball sectional Tuesday.

The Warriors outlasted the Jets 3-2, finally beating their ACAC rivals after two losses this season. Game scores were 18-25, 25-23, 25-18, 18-25, 16-14.

“We talked about playing a consistent match but we still came out really flat,” Woodlan coach Lindsay Roth said. “But I told them if they just play consistent and at the end, you just have to fight and find ways to get it done.

“We worked on all the things we worked on before (vs. the Jets), but ultimately it comes down to just fighting through. More than anything, it is about beating a quality team. We know we have to be on our game when we play them because they come full force every single time.”

Woodlan (22-7) plays Canterbury at 11 a.m. Saturday in the sectional semifinals.

“We are kind of fortunate we have a few days to practice and get our focus back in,” Roth said. “We didn’t even talk about Saturday yet because I want them to enjoy the win.”

The Warriors led 14-11 in the fifth game before the Jets scored three straight to tie the match at 14. Woodlan reeled off two straight points, including Tori Bontrager’s block for the game-winner.

“I told them at 14-11 don’t be surprised if they counter because they are a good team,” Roth said. “But so are you, and you have to be ready for that. You have to take it on and just fight through it.”

Bontrager led the Warriors with 20 kills and four blocks, while Burgundy Price added 17 kills and 21 digs, while Kory Gerig had 11 kills. “We finished strong, which is what we normally do,” Bontrager said. “We came together and played as a team. We practiced their tendencies because we knew them, and I guess it worked. Third time’s a charm. We just have to keep this energy up and not the roller-coaster like we normally do.”

The No. 8 Jets (24-9) won the previous matchups 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-18, 16-25, 15-13) in the regular season and 2-0 (25-20, 25-16) in the ACAC tournament.

“It’s hard to beat a team (three times in a season),” Adams Central coach Ashley Beard said. “They are gunning for you, and you know almost everything about the team, and they know everything about you. I would have taken a loss against them earlier if we could have pulled this one out. They were a great team, and I am sad we can’t be moving on.”

In other matches:

BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN SECTIONAL: Host Blackhawk defeated Elkhart Christian 25-14, 25-8, 25-4 behind Marta Bleed and Olivia Martin, who had apiece. Sara Miller had 22 digs.

WEST NOBLE SECTIONAL: Host West Noble eliminated Whitko 25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 25-19. Rachel Schermerhorn had 11 kills, two service aces and 17 digs to lead the Chargers.

BISHOP DWENGER SECTIONAL: Angola beat New Haven 25-12, 25-23, 18-25, 25-20. The Hornets play host Dwenger in the semifinals Saturday.

gjones@jg.net

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