PDT Sports Writer
LANCASTER - For the first time in school history the South Webster Lady Jeeps volleyball team find themselves in the regional championship match.
The Lady Jeeps knocked off the Eastern Pike Lady Eagles in a five-set match that exceeded any and all the hype that is was given.
After falling in the opening two games, the Lady Jeeps pulled everything together and punched their ticket to play in the regional final Saturday at 2 p.m.
"I think my blood pressure is a little but higher than it's supposed to be," South Webster coach Darcee Claxon said. "I was a little bit nervous after those first two games, but they fought back, never gave up and I think that is the sign of a true competitor."
"I have no idea how we did that (won the match)," senior Erin Sherman said. "I really don't!"
The Jeeps took the five -set match 24-26, 25-27, 25-18, 27-25, 15-10 Wednesday evening at Lancaster High School to propel themselves to face the winner of Newark Catholic and Tuscarawas Central Catholic.
Sherman had a game-high 29 kills and eight blocks. Fellow senior Erin Moore had 14 kills, nine digs and two blocks. Kasey Roth collected 24 digs on the evening and April Deems added eight digs to the winning effort.
In the opening game, Eastern took a lead when Rachel Staker stepped to the back line serving up five straight points to put her squad up 9-6. The lead was quickly erased and with a Sherman kill the Lady Jeeps knotted the game at 11. The game was tied two more times first at 15 then 16. The next tie would be at 23 apiece, then another tie at 24. But a sideout for the Lady Eagles and a spike into the net by South Webster gave game 1 to the Lady Eagles.
In the the second game, South Webster took an early lead and nursed that lead until Eastern's libero Samantha Veach went to the back line. Veach added three points to the Lady Eagles cause and put the Lady Eagles on top by a count of 24-23. The Lady Jeeps fought back and knotted the game at 25.
Courtney Rowe had three kills late in the game, for Eastern, and then served up the final point which put the Lady Eagles up two games to none.
In the third game, South Webster took an early advantage, but Eastern was going nowhere. The gritty Lady Eagles fought back to tie the game at 13and again at 14, but the South Webster stretched the lead out to six 24-18 and when Eastern served the ball into the net South Webster had captured their first game of the night.
In the fourth set, the Lady Jeeps never trailed, not to say that it was easy. The lead never reached more five for the Lady Jeeps. And as the game headed toward 25 the lead shrunk. From five to one and Eastern had finally knotted the game at 23. But nice net play by Erin Moore and Sherman was just enough to hold off the ladies from Pike County to even the match at two games apiece.
In the final game the Lady Jeeps traded sideouts and service points for the first part of the match forcing a tie at 7-7.
Erin Homerosky led the Lady Jeeps to a four-point lead serving up four consecutive points from the back line. Brooklynn Scott and Sherman both had a kill down the stretch and on the last point Aarika Hollback hit her serve receive off the top of the net and it rolled over and fell to the floor and with that South Webster had capped an unthinkable comeback to secure a slot in the regional championship.
Hollback called her serve receive "the best mistake I ever made in my life"
The Lady Jeeps will face Newark Catholic who defeated New Philadelphia Tuscarawas Central Catholic in four sets Wednesday night.
The winner has a spot in the state final four.
"We're very thankful everyone made that long trip from South Webster," Claxon said. "It was loud in here, the girls got the support they needed and almost that push over. It was great to see our community come and back these girls."
BRET BEVENS can be reached at (740)-353-3101 EXT. 242