It’s all going to come down to Tuesday.
Washington (12-11-1, 7-2) avenged a previous conference loss Tuesday, sweeping Ft. Zumwalt North (9-9, 4-5) on the road, 25-18, 25-22, 25-23. The Lady Jays followed up that momentum with a five-set win Thursday at Francis Howell North (7-9-1, 5-4), 26-24, 17-25, 12-25, 25-23, 15-11.
Washington goes to Ft. Zumwalt South (8-5, 7-2) Tuesday in a game that will determine the GAC Central title.
Zumwalt South won earlier this season at Washington in four sets.
Tuesday’s game was pivotal for the Lady Jays to reverse their previous fortune against the Lady Panthers.
“We knew it was a big game because we lost to them earlier in the season,” Washington Head Coach Lindsay Meyer said. “I’m very proud of our girls for getting the win yesterday.”
Hallie Giesike posted a team-high nine kills with one block and four assists.
Madi Ridder added five kills and three blocks.
Sophie Howell and Emma Duncan recorded four kills apiece.
Howell made two blocks and Duncan blocked one.
“Two of our key players were out so we needed people to step up and perform big,” Meyer said. “Sophie Howell, usually an outside, moved to the middle. She has not played this position for us this year, but kept a positive attitude and played great. Our team came together to face the adversity and handled the situation very well.”
Jackie Oetterer and Jessie Tovo each made three kills. Oetterer notched 18 assists.
Sophie Nieder and Claire Strubberg both made one kill.
Nieder recorded two assists.
Josie Obermark and Josie Collier had one assist apiece.
At the serving line, Obermark recorded two aces. Collier and Giesike recorded one ace apiece.
Libero Morgan Gratza recorded 24 digs.
Collier notched 12 digs and Oetterer made 10.
Others with digs included Nieder (six), Giesike (five), Tovo (three), Howell (two) and Duncan (one).
After taking the first set, Washington fell behind 2-1. With their backs against the wall, the Lady Jays responded to take the final two sets and the win.
“The team showed a lot of grit and determination to take it to a fifth set and win the match,” Meyer said. “Our middles, Abby Redd and Madi Ridder, led our attack. Jackie Oetterer, our setter, did a nice job getting all of our attackers involved, which led to a balanced offense. I’m very proud of how the girls fought to come back and win the match.”
Statistics from Thursday night’s game were not available as of The Missourian’s Friday morning print deadline.
Tuesday’s league play finale is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at Zumwalt South.