WILLARD - They say revenge is a dish best served cold. They also say revenge is sweet.
The revenge the St. Ursula volleyball team served up last night in the Division I regional semifinals could not have been any sweeter.
St. Ursula avenged their lone loss with a determined 16-14, 15-11 victory over top-ranked Rocky River Magnificat.
Lauren Berlacher, one of only two seniors on the young Arrow squad, said the team watched a video of its 15-7, 15-12 loss to the Blue Streaks during the 11/2–hour bus trip.
“It was our only loss this season,” Berlacher said. “So there was definitely more of a drive to go out there and win. So, yeah, I guess it was sweet revenge.”
For the first time in school history, the Arrows advance to the regional finals where they will take on Mansfield Madison at 2 p.m. here Saturday.
Madison topped Amherst Steele 15-12, 15-7 in the other semifinal last night.
The Arrows (26-1) captured their 22nd win in a row with a true team effort. Every member of the team recorded a block and four players had five or more kills.
“It was just a great team effort,” said Arrow coach John Buck, who is in his fifth season. “I couldn't single out one player who did more than another. Everyone played well.”
The score was knotted at 7 in the first game before St. Ursula rattled off seven unanswered points.
The young team perhaps showed its inexperience as it committed mental mistakes to allow the Blue Streaks to tie it at 14.
But junior Erica Florian served an ace to make it 15-14. Then her sister, freshman Sarah Florian, and junior Kaycie Carr came up with a big block to close the game.
Sarah Florian led the Arrows with 10 kills and 9 blocks while Carr's 18 assists helped complete the payback.
“We didn't talk about revenge. All we talked about was winning that match,” Buck said. “If you think about revenge, you're thinking backwards. We're looking forward.”
In the second game St. Ursula built a 13-5 lead, then hung on. Berlacher ended the contest with an ace.
“This is great,” Berlacher said. “Out team has been breaking records left and right, we knew what we had to do, and we did it.”