The Lancaster volleyball team accomplished their season-long goal when they defeated Gahanna in four sets Saturday to win a Division I district title. But that doesn’t mean they’re satisfied.
“We always try to set goals that are pretty hard to reach,” coach Jeff Lewis said. “It’s time to set a new goal and we did. We plan on winning the next two (matches). We really want to make it to state.”
The first step toward accomplishing that goal comes when the Golden Gales (22-4) play Dublin Coffman in a regional semifinal at Hilliard Davidson at 6 p.m. today. That will be the first match this postseason Lancaster will not be favored in as it has beaten three double-digit seeds and No. 9 Hilliard Davidson in getting this far.
The Gales were the seventh-seeded team in the Central District, and Dublin Coffman was seeded second.
As has been the case most of the season, Lancaster will not have a height advantage against the Shamrocks. They will try to compensate with speed.
“We know they are very tall and we are very short,” senior Kaci Marvin said. “Our plan is to attack them fast before they can attack us.”
While the height advantage will be in Coffman’s favor, Lewis is not concerned. The coach said so long as his team can replicate the frame of mind they displayed in dispatching the Lions, Lancaster will find itself in the state final four.
“I think we just need to play like we did on Saturday. I think we beat anybody when we play like that,” he said. “They are focused on their goal and now they know what it takes.”
What it will take is continued strong play from a senior class that has helped Lewis build the program. Marvin contributed 17 kills in the Gales’ win against Gahanna, and fellow seniors Jenna Daughtery and Kelsey Stockwell added 19 kills and 37 assists, respectively.
Marvin said the team’s ability to work together, coupled with focusing on incremental success, is what will make the difference against the Shamrocks.
“A key factor that we used on Saturday was just our team chemistry. We focused in,” she said. “Our next goal is to win against Dublin Coffman. We will take it point by point.”
A win earns the Gales a spot in a regional final at 2 p.m. Saturday and keeps alive the possibility of a berth in the state tournament. After accomplishing their main goal this season with a district title, accomplishing their new one is the only outcome Marvin can picture.
“I have all the confidence in the world in us,” she said, “and I don’t think that falling short is an option for us.”