Things looked real good for Pewamo-Westphalia when senior Kasey Schmitt served seven straight points to put the sixth-ranked Pirates ahead 21-16 in the pivotal third set of Tuesday’s Class C quarterfinal match.
But honorable mention Unionville-Sebewaing outscored P-W 10-3 after that to take that set 26-24 and then won the fourth set 25-20 to end the Pirates’ season.
“That was a blow to all of our momentum, but I do congratulate them,” Pewamo-Westphalia coach Lauren Iszler said. “They had a great defense that we had a hard time finding our way around. They’re a great team.”
With the 20-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-20 victory, the Patriots advance to Thursday’s 3:45 p.m. semifinal at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek against No. 10 Traverse City St. Francis.
“They had big blocks, and they were good at popping everything up,” P-W senior Madison Smith said. “We couldn’t put anything down, and they didn’t make a lot of errors for us.”
Smith exaggerated a little, because she did manage to put down 23 kills while adding seven blocks and 23 digs. Senior Allison Martin led the Pirates in assists with 37 and aces with two.
P-W led early in the final set, tied the score at 14-14, and never trailed by more than five.
“We had come back from bigger leads, but we just couldn’t do it this time,” senior Kasey Schmitt said of the Pirates, who finished the season at 49-4-3. “We had great chemistry. I’m very proud of us as a team. We had fun while we did it, and that’s what made us play so well.”
The Pirates trailed only 4-3 and 5-4 while rolling to a five-point win in the first set, but never led and only managed to tie the score twice (7-7 and 16-16) in the second set. P-W led early and fell behind for the first time at 16-14 in the third set when Schmitt served the Pirates to the seven-point lead that didn’t hold up.
“I am incredibly proud of these girls,” Iszler said. “They have nothing to be ashamed of. I told them to walk out of here with their heads held high. They’ve worked hard. They wanted it, they fought tonight, and you can’t ask for more than that.”