Overcoming early adversity, the Borgia volleyball Lady Knights breezed to the Class 3 District 8 semifinals Tuesday in Union.
Borgia knocked off fourth-seeded Sullivan, 25-14, 25-6.
“It seems to be our mantra,” said Borgia Head Coach Brad Bruns. “We always get down for the first five or six points in the first game. Then we relax. We come back and we dig out of it.”
While Borgia opened the match with a kill from Emma Kriete, Sullivan hung in there for quite a bit. Sullivan led 5-4. The game remained close until Borgia broke away from a 12-12 tie.
A net violation gave Borgia the edge it needed and Sullivan errors quickly helped the Lady Knights move out to a bigger advantage.
Molly Arand served out the game, getting an ace for game point and a kill by Kriete to end it.
Borgia’s rally not only took advantage of Sullivan mistakes, but also utilized the net play of many different players, including Kreite, Erin Hillerman, Taylor Mentz, Sarah Geatley, Hanna Glastetter and setter Janie Arand.
Defensively, Borgia was able to pass up Sullivan’s attacks. Libero Clara Blatt anchored the defense and others making big contributions included Molly Arand, Jordan Kriete, Maddie Toelke and Alivia Brinker.
While the first game was close for a while, the second was no contest. Borgia methodically thumped the ball over and over while taking advantage of every Sullivan mistake.
“In the second game, we just came out on fire,” Bruns said. “In the last two matches, we’ve really started to turn the tide in the second game.”
The second game started with a kill from Emma Kriete and Borgia used that to jump out to a 6-0 lead. Janie Arand served an ace in that run and Mentz supplied two kills.
After a Borgia error, Sullivan earned back-to-back points for its longest rally of the match.
Soon, the final outcome was evident. Borgia not only moved players in and out of the lineup without any loss of cohesion, but also continued to record highlights.
Molly Arand served seven points in a row, including an ace, to bring Borgia to a 19-5 advantage.
Even when Sullivan was able to get the ball back to the net, players like Hillerman were waiting to smack it down before it even reached the Borgia defense.
The Lady Knights advanced to the championship match while Sullivan completed its season with one win in the district tournament.
The Lady Eagles defeated St. Clair Monday in the opening round.