“We’ve been doing that all season, we go down 5-1, 6-2, 7-3 and I call my usual timeout,” Steininger said.
It was a well-spent timeout as Heitkamp sparked an 8-1 run with three aces. Marion Local took a 9-6 lead and never trailed again in the set.
The hole was much deeper in the third set as the Flyers trailed 9-17 but battled back to even, 18-18, on a kill by outside hitter Gina Kramer. Six lead changes and eight tie scores later, the Flyers took the marathon set 28-26.
“I’m very proud of the girls for coming back,” Steininger said. “We’re pumped up, we’re very excited to be in the finals.”
The Flyers will face a familiar foe in the regional final in Fort Loramie. The Redskins, making their fifth consecutive regional appearance, handed Lehman Catholic a 25-17, 25-22, 25-14 loss in the late semifinal Wednesday. Even Fort Loramie coach John Rodgers was stunned by his Redskins speedy win.
“I filled out lineup cards for five sets,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers stressed one thing to his players before the match – play Redskins volleyball.
“Our style of volleyball is speed, quickness and attack, attack, attack,” he said.
Outside hitters Darian Rose and Kelly Turner each pounded in 12 kills and Turner added three aces in the winning effort. Even when the Cavaliers rallied, the Redskins had an answer.
“The girls have good chemistry, they don’t get rattled,” Rodgers said. “I’m basically just a cheerleader on the sideline, helping them stay focused.”
A state berth is on the line when Marion Local, 23-3, and Fort Loramie, 23-4, face off Saturday in the regional final. The Flyers won the regular season contest between the two teams in four sets.