MILFORD — It wasn’t the most ringing endorsement.
Christy Duis felt her Milford volleyball program “played well enough to win” in Monday’s Class 1A sectional semifinal inside the Bearcats’ gymnasium.
The serving game wasn’t great, in Duis’ opinion. But the effort at the net was “strong,” and the girls’ passing also was acceptable.
So why was Milford able to thoroughly handle DeLand-Weldon in a 25-16, 25-18 outcome?
“We just caught them on their heels a little bit,” Duis said, “with the big home crowd.”
Never underestimate what hosting a postseason event can do for a group.
Caley Mowrey boasted 16 kills, Kaylee Warren dished out 32 assists and Jakki Mowrey contributed 14 digs for the Bearcats (29-4-1), who didn’t show any nerves being in their first sectional since 1995.
Perhaps because their rooters tried to place all the fear into the Eagles (20-12), at this stage for the first time in 42 years.
“They were loud, and they were ready for us to win,” Duis said. “Our side was pretty full.”
A sluggish start to the second set was abated by Maya McEwen getting to the service line and Caley Mowrey playing in the front row as a result.
Beyond that, Milford controlled the action and secured a 6 p.m. Wednesday sectional final date with Illinois Lutheran (25-8).
“They do have a really big outside (Isabella Biesterfeld) that’s a really good hitter,” Duis said. “We’ll have to get ... the block on her and slow her down.”
Knights defeated. Blue Ridge faltered in the second Class 1A Milford Sectional semifinal, dropping a 28-26, 25-23 result to Illinois Lutheran. The Knights (29-9) were led by Nadia Beadle’s 11 kills, Gracie Shaffer’s 19 assists and Jenna Mozingo’s 23 digs.
Titans stunned. After a 25-22 first-set win in the Class 1A Windsor Sectional semifinal versus Altamont, Tri-County fell 25-23, 25-16 in the next two games. Kaylenn Hunt (15 kills, four blocks) and Melia Eskew (21 assists) showed the way for the Titans (22-9).