KNOX | In Tuesday's Class 3A regional, Gavit had no player on its roster taller than 5-foot-7, while eighth-ranked Knox didn't have anyone shorter than 5-6. It proved to be more than a statistical mismatch.
The host Redskins cruised to a 25-12, 25-10 and 25-8 victory to win the regional title, the first every for Knox.
"My two middles can usually get up pretty good, but with the fast offense they didn't have a chance to get to the outside," Gavit coach Amy Woynaroski said. "And my outside blockers just don't have the height to get up and block very many hits."
Knox (33-4) raced out to a 19-4 lead in the first set before Gavit could rally. The Gladiators could get only as close as 20-10.
"It inspired me to be a stronger player, basically," said Gavit senior Ashley Wolf, who added that Knox was almost as good as Munster, the toughest team the Gladiators faced this season. "They're really good."
Gavit (5-23) enjoyed an early 3-2 lead in the second set before Knox rallied for a 15-8 advantage and the eventual win. Knox then opened up a 11-1 lead in the final set.
Woynaroski said her squad was a little intimidated going into the match.
"They got a little psyched out with (Knox)," she said. "They saw the sectional scores so they kind of came into it a little down. All I wanted was for them to play their hardest and finish the season strong."
Knox coach Jake Skelly said his team did what it had to do to advance to Saturday's Plymouth Semistate.
"After coming off that emotional sectional championship against Andrean, we kind of came into this match with a little bit of a mental challenge," he said. "We played through that well and got the job done."
Woynaroski said she was proud of what her Gladiators accomplished.
"I know they have been waiting a long time at Gavit to get a sectional win in volleyball," she said. "It was something really exciting to come here and be part of the whole experience."