By Garth Shanklin
Coming off a huge win over the New Richmond Lady Lions in their final regular-season game, the Goshen Lady Warriors traveled to Blanchester High School on Monday, Oct. 17 to open sectional tournament play.
The team started the first set against the Lady Falcons on the wrong end of a 13-5 run. Head coach Amy Schmidbauer called timeout, looking to pull her team out of a slow start that the squad occasionally has to fight through.
“They just start slow sometimes,” Schmidbauer said. “We didn’t get a good warmup, it was a long bus ride and it’s a Monday. We have a history of not playing well on Mondays, but we just kind of had to snap into it. I told them, ‘You don’t have time. There’s no time today.’”
The team seemed to respond well to that, scoring the next four points and going on a 13-5 run of their own to tie the set at 18. The squads battled back-and forth until Goshen scored the final two points of the set to take the win 25-23.
The second set started out a little closer, with the teams battling to a 6-6 tie early. Goshen would go on another run, scoring 19 of the next 27 points to win the set 25-14.
Goshen started the third set on fire, jumping ahead to a 13-5 lead. Clinton Massie fought back, cutting the lead down to as few as three points at 15-12, but Goshen’s 10-3 run put the match away, ending the third set 25-15.
Schmidbauer said the team’s performance in the final two sets was much closer to the performance she expected from the team.
“That was more like it should have been,” Schmidbauer said. “They don’t ever give up, they don’t overthink about their mistakes. They’re quick to move on to the next serve. Our problem was with serve receive today. They do this 75 times during practice, they know how to serve the ball up. They just have to be ready.”
The team answered the call, and in doing so continued to ride the momentum of a win over a tough New Richmond team. That momentum could carry them through another tough match this week.
“That was big,” Schmidbauer said. “It was our senior night, the girls wanted to end on that kind of note. We wanted some revenge from earlier in the season when we played them hard and it didn’t go our way. That was our first match that went to five the entire season, and we were tested. They’re not quite as scared of McNick as they would’ve been in the past.”
The Lady Warriors will return to Blanchester High School for the sectional semifinal match against McNicholas on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Rockets finished the season with a 14-7 record and drew the second seed in the sectional tournament.
“I’m really anxious to see Adrian Ell, she’s leading the Greater Catholic League in assists and hits,” Schmidbauer said. “We have some really good blocking and if they play as good as they did against New Richmond I don’t think anyone can beat them.”