GRIFFITH | The parking lot and halls at Griffith were packed Thursday night, but the majority of their inhabitants weren’t there for volleyball.
Outside the gym the school held its open house and distributed first-quarter report cards.
Inside, Gavit and Griffith made the grades to beat Clark and Lew Wallace, respectively, across seven combined games at the Class 3A Griffith Sectional and set up a semifinal showdown between the 2010 and 2011 sectional champs, though Griffith wasn’t in this sectional in 2010.
“Whoever comes to play is going to win,” Gavit coach Amy Osorio said.
Osorio handed out grades for her team’s four-game win over pesky Clark, a team the Gladiators (22-11) had swept twice in the regular season. She gave a 25-13 first-game win a solid B, a 25-23 loss in the second game an F, a 25-18 Game 3 win a C, and a clinching A in the 25-10 final set.
It averaged out to a 2.25 grade-point average and kept Gavit eligible for Saturday’s 11 a.m. semifinal matchup.
“We did not come ready to go in the first game,” Osorio said. “We got too confident having played well in Game 1 and fell apart in the second game.”
Gavit sagged in the second game and only rallied behind the serves of 6-foot-3 senior hitter Hattie Andrews, who was 20-for-20 serving with four aces Thursday.
“She usually has moments of brilliance, but tonight she was on the whole game,” Osorio said of Andrews.
The Glads started poorly in the third game and had a 9-9 tie before rolling to a win with Andrews on the front line, where she was 14-for-17 hitting with 10 kills and 10-11 blocking with eight block kills.
“I was up on my blocks,” Andrews said. “My timing was poor at the beginning of the year, but it’s improved a lot. The angle was open all night, but I usually just go over the other blockers.”
The Gladiators had swept Griffith in a tournament and a regular-season match hosted by the Panthers, but Andrews said her team learned a lesson Thursday.
“Us sagging was good for us,” Andrews said. “We need to see you can’t just overlook anyone; you can’t underdog a team. You have to play your hardest.”
Clark had plenty of fight. With only two seniors departing, the core of the team, such as Maricela Lopez, Sara Kruszynski and Oshuntique Woods, leaves coach Stephanie Ihnat saying the Pioneers (5-23) “have a very bright future.”
Another team with two seniors, Griffith (10-20) dominated Lew Wallace despite missing starting setter Ciarra Kroslack for one match with a concussion. Replacement Rhiannon Kozy had 21 assists and nine of Griffith’s 27 aces on the night.
“We’ve had a rough season, so it was nice to see our passing where it was,” Griffith coach Erin Delaney* said.
Lisette Roldan had 12 kills to help eliminate the Hornets (5-8).
*This is a change from the original story that ran in print editions of The Times. The Times regrets the error.