The St. Edmond volleyball team took advantage of near-perfect serving and a size advantage to sweep South Hamilton in a Class 2A, Region 4 quarterfinal Tuesday night.
Scores were 25-17, 25-20 and 25-22.
The Gaels (11-16 overall) will now face No. 8 Woodward-Granger (29-3) Friday in a regional semifinal in Woodward. Start time is set for 7 p.m.
Messenger photo by Dale Wooten
Hannah Lentsch spikes the ball for St. Edmond against South Hamilton on Tuesday in the Gael gym. For more photos, please visit CU?at www.messengernews.net
Senior Hannah Lentsch led St. Edmond with 13 kills, converting on 27 of 34 attacks. Six of her kills came in the opening set.
Anna Yung, just a sophomore, and senior Skylar Berdaus each recorded six kills. Junior Allie Huss was a perfect 16-for-16 serving, while Yung was 17 of 18. The two combined for three aces.
"Anna and Allie had just a great night serving the ball, as did Claire Crimmins (15 of 15)," said SEHS head coach John Johnson. "We've struggled some matches with our serving, but it was a big asset for us (Tuesday)."
Huss served eight consecutive points for St. Edmond in the opener, as the Gaels turned a 4-3 deficit into a 12-4 advantage. Yung proceeded to serve five straight points, helping her team to an early lead.
"I thought it was very important that we started fast and forced South Hamilton to play from behind," Johnson said. "By the third, I think (South Hamilton) had figured out our weak spots and took advantage.
"I was proud of the way the girls responded to that and really closed the deal."
The Hawks (8-17) stormed out to a 15-10 lead down 2-0 overall, but St. Edmond was able to score seven consecutive before finishing the match off with back-to-back points.
"We've been working hard in practice over these past couple of weeks on a few areas, and that showed," Johnson said. "Serving and playing sound defense can win you matches - and it can lose you matches - in the postseason."
Woodward-Granger has won 20 straight, including a 3-0 win over South Hamilton during that run.
"It's going to be a tough test (playing W-G), especially on their court," Johnson said. "But I feel like our girls are up to the task."