Buckeye Central (25-2) swept Cardinal Stritch, 25- 13, 25-17, 25-15 Wednesday in a Division III regional semifinal contest to advance to Saturday’s Elite Eight and move one step closer to the state tournament.
“To say you are one game away from going to state, who gets to say that?” Buckettes coach Bill Bonham said. “A lot of teams don’t even get to say they are going to state, and not many get to say they are one game away.”
Cardinals coach Chad Rutkowski said his team prepared for Buckeye Central’s attack, but it was still too much for them to handle.
“They took it us,” Rutkowski said. “They have some great outsides, they know how to put the ball away and they know how to terminate. We prepared for it, but I think they did even better than we anticipated.”
Freshman Jenna Delarber had a big game for Buckeye Central, finishing with nine kills, after spraining her ankle during the Buckettes’ district final win against Norwalk St. Paul.
“The long week off that we had, our trainer was working with her,” Bonham said. “The kid is tough. She is maturing right in front of us and she did awesome.”
Bonham considered sitting Delarber out, but she was ready to go and said her ankle felt just fine.
“It was definitely awesome,” Delarber said. “It’s crazy to be able to come out here and play as a freshman. It’s so much fun. Once I start playing on it I’m OK, but when I’m on the bench it’s a little sore.”
Sammi Marcum finished with 14 kills and 18 digs and two aces while Maddie Williams had nine kills and 17 digs. Emily Weithman finished with 21 assists , Kilee Kimmel had14 assists. Brooke Karl had 17 digs and two aces.
The Buckettes advance to Saturday’s regional final at 2 p.m. against McComb, which defeated Mohawk.