VOLLEYBALL: Wapak headed to district final
FINDLAY — Wapakoneta Redskins varsity volleyball coach Keith Rambin was flying blind.
No match film? No scouting report? No stats? No idea what to expect?
The Redskins may not have known much about the Napoleon Wildcats, but they figured it out early enough to roll to a three-game sweep in a Division II district semifinal Wednesday at Liberty-Benton High School.
Wapak rallied for a narrow 25-23 win in the first game, then pulled away to win 25-20 in the second and 25-16 in the third.
“I had no idea even who was their hitter,” Rambin said. “I started Megan [Hayzlett] in the middle and Morgan [Quellhorst] on the outside. Then I realized their strongest hitter was in the middle. So I flipped Morgan and Megan [after the first game]and put her in the middle the rest of the night.”
Napoleon’s top-hitter, southpaw Taylor Miller, finished with 11 kills and gave Wapak problems with her left-handed hitting.
“It’s not very often you face a left-handed middle and it’s very awkward,” Rambin said. “I kept telling [Morgan], you have to take one step to your left and she’ll swing right into your block.”
Quellhorst had a team-high 12 kills and six blocks
Krissy Stienbaugh led with 19 digs.
Amber Dickerson had three aces and Nicole Brown had 29 assists.
“It wasn’t real clean, but these girls found a way to win,” Rambin said. “We did what we had to do when we needed to do it.”
The Redskins will face the Western Buckeye League champion Celina Bulldogs for the district title at 6 p.m. Saturday at Liberty-Benton.
“Celina was 17 games ago,” Rambin said. “And we’ve now won nine of our last 11. So we’re playing some pretty good ball. It wasn’t too clean at times tonight.
“But we’re looking forward to a rematch. We’re kind of proud that the WBL is represented in the district finals. It says a lot about the WBL.”
Celina handily defeated Wapak early in the regular season.
“The key is they can’t control us at the front of the net like they did the first time,” Rambin said. “Their block was impenetrable.”
In the first semifinal on Wednesday, the Bulldogs defeated Pemberville Eastwood 3-1.
After losing the first game and trailing 21-16 in the second, Celina rallied to pull out a 25-22 win to even the match.
The Bulldogs then swept the next two games for the win.