Garden Spot’s Logan Martin said she got angry.
It was that simple, at least for her, to help overcome any nerves after her team fell behind 2-0 at the start of Wednesday night’s Lancaster-Lebanon League semifinal round.
Martin ultimately led her team to a 20-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-9 victory over Lancaster Catholic at Cocalico.
“We just got back to playing, plain and simple,” Martin said afterward, with a huge smile on her face. “And honestly, the key to it was getting a little bit angry and just pound the ball.”
And pound the ball she did, especially every time she got the chance in the last three sets.
Her play was a big reason for the Section Two champion Spartans’ win, but there was also the serves, passing, and defense of the team that propelled them to victory. Things like Abby O’Neill’s sets or Lucy Sterns’ and Anna Zimmerman’s play at the net, that eventually wore on Catholic, the Section Three champ.
With the win, the Spartans (15-0) earned a date with Section One champion Hempfield — also undefeated (12-0) — in a 7 p.m. matchup at Warwick on Thursday. Garden Spot, which made it to the state semifinals last season, is hoping to keep the Black Knights from winning a 19th L-L League title.
“It was good to be tested tonight; so it was fun to see them come together,” Garden Spot coach Lauren DiPiano said. “It’s what I love about our team’s composure, and it is a testament to our girls’ hard work.”
With a game point on the line in the fourth set and the Spartans leading 24-18, Wentz had a huge block to make it 24-19, but O’Neill’s perfect set to Martin, who slammed it over the net, setting up a fifth game.
In the first game, the Crusaders started slow, but after things got knotted up, behind some strong serves from Bella DeCarlo and some strong defense by Sophia Wentz, Catholic was able to take control of the set.
The second set was tight, with the Crusaders’ biggest run being six points, but Garden Spot wouldn’t go away. The Spartans kept things close before Catholic’s front line, led by Wentz, took over.
“They hadn’t competed against someone like Martin in our section,” Lancaster Catholic coach Julie Hoin said, “and we are used to getting higher kills, but I am so proud of them for what they accomplished.”
The Crusaders’ season is not over, though, as they await word on who they will be playing next Thursday in District Three playoff action.
“Martin was a hard hitter, but we should overall we should be fine for our next game,” said the Crusaders’ Isabel Hoin, who had 20 digs and one assist in the match. “It was tough, but we can be proud.”