LOWELL | Four of Lowell's senior volleyball players decided to take a prematch snack at Arby's on Route 2 near I-65.
As they were pulling into the driveway, the car they were riding in was hit from behind, and the girls spun around, a 180-degree spin later and they were facing the road instead of the restaurant.
"The first thing I said was 'It's OK, it's OK, it's OK,'" captain and defensive specialist Cambria Wynsma said. "We said 'We've got a volleyball game!' We got our food. We still ate, but we we're OK. We knew we were OK right away, but it's just a scary thing, so playing tonight was a fun thing, and we're lucky we were here."
The four -- Wynsma, middle hitter Katie Bobos, outside hitter Hannah Tucker and defensive specialist Alyssa Cory -- sat out the first game of Tuesday's 25-6, 25-4, 25-5 win over West Side that opened the Class 4A Lowell Sectional.
Coach Dana Jeffries said she was planning to make sure everyone played two games, but not at the expense of the nerves of her seniors.
"The first game we sat out to give ourselves a rest," Wynsma said.
"I said at the beginning of the day, I wanted everyone to play two (games) to get the jitters out," Jeffries said. "We did a good job serving tonight, so we were pretty excited about that. All of our jump servers were on, which is great, because we've got a tough road ahead."
The Red Devils (11-23) played an evenly-paced match, finishing with 19 aces against the Cougars (9-11). Tori Nida led the Lowell back row with six aces and sophomore Ashley DeBoer added five.
At the net, Meredith Sharkey's three kills paced an attack that was helped along by unforced errors from West Side. DeBoer, Bobos and Jessica Shope each chipped in two kills.
West Side's offense was led by three kills from junior Niyah Hall and is under the first-year direction of Alexandria Bradley.
With four seniors and seven underclassmen, Bradley said she hopes the match was a necessary learning experience for her team.
"We want them to be prepared for next year, see how the game is, how the movement of the game is," Bradley said. "We want them to move as a team and work together as a team."
Lowell will play Munster in Saturday's 10 a.m. semifinal with the winner advancing to the 4 p.m. championship match.