When the fifth game of its DIAA Volleyball Tournament semifinal match began in Mill Creek, 11th-seeded Tower Hill knew it had to get off to quick start to beat 10th-seeded Concord.
Haley Yatzus provided the spark the Hillers needed, scoring nine points to help her team win the decisive game by four points, giving Tower Hill a 3-2 win in the match and its first trip to the state championship game. Tower Hill will face undefeated Padua for the state title Monday night at the Bob Carpenter Center.
“My serving was really boosting my energy, and I’m unbelievably happy right now,” Yatzus said. “We knew we had to come out aggressively. We wanted this so bad. Tower Hill has never been this far in the state tournament. We all have been playing so hard and working so hard in practice.”
Yatzus scored the Hillers’ first eight points, including five aces to help Tower Hill jump out to an 8-1 lead. The Raiders tried to get back into the game, cutting the Hiller lead to 14-11, but Elizabeth Wuerstle ended Concord’s comeback hopes with a kill to give Tower Hill a 15-11 win in the final game to take the match.
“Sometimes you can just feel it when you’re up there, and the ball is in the right spot,” Wuerstle said of how she felt on the final point. “You just know everything is aligned perfectly. It’s one of the best things in the world.”
The Hillers took the first game 25-20 after scoring the frame’s final six points. The Raiders tied the match at one game apiece with a 25-19 victory after closing the game on an 8-1 run.
Tower Hill (15-3) won the third game 25-20 to move one game away from the state title, but the celebration would have to wait as Concord (12-4) staved off elimination with a 25-23 win in game four.
That set the stage for Yatzus’ run.
“I always knew that she was capable of playing that way, and she is really now starting to reach her potential,” Hiller coach Michael Sachs said. “I’m thrilled with it.”