MICHIGAN CITY | Washington Township and host Marquette Catholic each swept their opponents on Thursday night and now have their sights squarely set on each other.
The Senators rolled over Morgan Township by scores of 25-7, 25-16, 25-19, while the Blazers breezed past Covenant Christian 25-20, 25-9, 25-9 in Class A sectional action.
The two will face off in Saturday’s second semifinal. Gary 21st Century will play Westville in the other semifinal.
After leading from start to finish in the opening two games, the Senators (24-8) had to come from behind to complete the sweep.
The Cherokees led by as many as six in the game and had a 15-9 advantage when the Senators called a timeout. Washington Township trimmed the deficit to two, but the Cherokees responded to lead 18-13.
The Senators scored 12 of the final 13 points to take win the game 25-19. Lauren Kleist, Madeline Johnson and Mariss Brys all tallied kills during the run. Kleist recorded four kills in the game.
“I don’t like things being easy for them,” Washington Township coach Kevin Labaj said. “I like them going the tough road. Saturday’s going to be a very tough game for us.”
Washington Township raced out to a 14-3 lead in the opening game and closed it out for a 25-7 win.
Kleist and Brys each had for kills for the Senators in their game two win. Kleist finished with 10 kills to lead the Senators. Brys totaled seven kills, and Caitlyn Lembke had 24 assists.
Courtney Maxwell had five kills to lead the Cherokees.
The Blazers (22-11) overcame a slow start in game one to easily defeat the Knights.
Marquette trailed 13-11 before going on a spurt to lead 19-14. The Knights closed to within three at 23-20, but the Blazers scored the final two points to take the game. Allison Back closed the game with an ace.
“They were overplaying it and over-thinking everything,” Marquette coach Jan Fitzpatrick said of the opening game. “There was too much adrenaline coming out, making so many unforced errors.”
The Blazers jumped out to a 15-3 lead in game two and later finished it off with five straight points.
Game three was close early on with Marquette holding a 10-7 lead. The Blazers then scored 10 straight points, with five coming on aces from Haley Mellen, to take a commanding lead.
Zoya Ganz had 16 kills to lead the Blazers. Sabrina Brown added 10 kills, while Camille Burnett had 30 assists.
Jennifer Heerema, Courtney VanderMeer and Renae Buiter all had two kills for the Knights.