HAMMOND | Gavit coach Amy Woynaroski has been urging her team to simply finish what it starts for a while now.
The Gladiators certainly took heed of their coach's advice Thursday, defeating Clark 25-20, 25-19, 25-14 in the semifinals of the Class 3A Clark Sectional.
Woynaroski was most pleased with Gavit's third game, where the Gladiators turned a 4-4 tie into a 14-9 lead and simply kept building off of it for the convincing 11-point win over their Great Lakes Athletic Conference rival.
"I was very excited that that's how we finished off," Woynaroski said. "The last couple weeks, we've been struggling a little bit with trying to play hard for an entire game. That was really exciting, and I think we're really ready for Saturday, because they showed me they can actually finish."
Gavit will face Griffith, a team it lost to twice this season, after the Panthers routed Lew Wallace 25-2, 25-3, 25-9 in the second match of the evening.
"I'm just really hoping I can get the girls up to block," Woynaroski said. "I completely changed my back-row passer since the last time we played them, so I'm hoping it's a positive move, and they're going to be ready to pick everything up."
Gavit came out strong in the second game, jumping out to a 10-3 lead before Clark was forced to take a timeout. The Gladiators kept the pressure on to prevent the Pioneers from coming back.
For Gavit, Vanessa Burney was 24-of-25 attacking with 11 kills, while Crystal Gilbert recorded 22 assists. Katie Kruszynski had seven kills for Clark.
Griffith coach Cathy Dilbeck wanted her team to remain aggressive on its serves in preparation for playing the Gladiators in Saturday's championship. Dilbeck knows Gavit will be ready to come out strong.
"They're a much better team this year overall," she said of Gavit. "They execute the offense pretty well. This is definitely one of the better Gavit teams I've ever seen. Their girls are putting the ball away a lot more this year, and we have to prepare for them come Saturday."
Kelsey Bonewits had nine kills for Griffith (20-9).