LIMA — Talk about your interesting finishes.
The Wapakoneta Redskins reversed a bizarre momentum shift in the fifth game to pull out a 3-2 win over the Bath Wildcats in a Division II volleyball sectional semifinal Wednesday night at Lima Senior High School.
After pulling out to an 8-4 lead in the crucial fifth-game tiebreaker, Wapak was called for an illegal substitution.
The error had occurred two points earlier, so two points were taken from the Wapak score and Bath was awarded a penalty point and the serve.
Suddenly it was just a one-point 6-5 lead and the Wildcats were serving.
But Wapak went on a roll.
Juniors Carli Sammons and Megan Hayzlett each had a kill, junior Nicole Brown served an ace, and junior Ashlie Cox and senior Morgan Quellhorst each dropped in a pair of kills as the Redskins pulled away for a 15-7 win.
“I suppose we actually beat them 17-5,” Wapak coach Keith Rambin said. “We had a freshman in the game and she wasn’t supposed to run back in when she did. She didn’t understand the rule. ... We were trying to give them a different look and get an extra block up there.
“But I told them, ‘We’ve still got the lead. We sideout here and we’ve got a two-point lead.’ ”
After Bath won the first game 25-19 behind seven kills by 6-foot senior hitter Liz Brock, Rambin adjusted his lineup and shadowed Brock with two blockers the remainder of the match.
The strategy paid off as Wapak cruised to a 25-7 win in Game 2. Brock had just two kills while Wapak scored several points off of blocks.
For the game, Quellhorst and Hayzlett combined for 14 blocks.
“We weren’t getting any efficient block up there at the net,” Rambin said. “I threw Megan up there and she plugged that hole real fast and allowed us to get back in the ballgame.”
The Redskins cruised again in the third game, taking advantage of a string of three straight kills by senior Krissy Stienbaugh to pull away to a 25-17 win.
But Brock and Bath came alive in the fourth, scoring five straight points to take a 13-7 lead and holding on for a 25-20 win. Brock had six kills in Game 4.
Stienbaugh and Quellhorst led Wapak with 17 kills apiece.
Brown had 50 assists for the Redskins. And libero Amber Dickerson had 22 digs.
Wapak will now face St. Marys in the sectional final at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Lima Senior for the sectional championship. The Roughriders knocked off Defiance in the other semifinal Wednesday.