JEFFERSON - Lakeview came into Monday's Division II sectional semifinal facing a dominating Edgewood team.
The Bulldogs quickly crumbled any chance the Warriors had of advancing with a 3-0 victory at Jefferson High School.
Edgewood (19-2) lost in straight games, 25-11, 25-23, 25-16.
"We can't let one game take away from our girls and the season they had this year," Edgewood coach David Fowler said. "Going into the season, our goal was to build ourselves to a team dynamic and our girls had great chemistry all year. When you have one girl struggle, you can adjust to overcome it, but when you have multiple girls on an off night, it's usually way too much to correct. That's what we ran into tonight. Credit Lakeview for causing much of that.
"They are a really good team, and they did everything well tonight. I feel bad for our girls, but we had our chances, especially when we had a lead going into the 20s, and couldn't hold it. Their middle hitters took Katie (Thomas) out of our offense tonight, forcing us to look from offense on the outside. You don't win too often doing that."
The Lakeview front line of Calli Schmidt, Marissa Naples and Rachel Calvin dominated from the onset, often double teaming Thomas at the net and generally negating anybody else the Warriors had up front.
Taylor Diemer had a solid night hitting from the outside, but as Fowler alluded to, offense from the outside doesn't win matches.
"We have some pretty good talent," Bulldog coach Scott Taylor said.
"We're still hoping to grow some each season, but coming in as the No. 6 seed, not too many people expect us to win here anyway. I'm really happy to have a group of girls like this, though."
The Bulldogs (19-4) next tangle with fourth-seeded Geneva in a sectional championship match Wednesday at 6 p.m.
After Naples sent a hard slam out of bounds to give Edgewood a 1-0 lead, Naples (12 kills, four blocks) got her second attempt in to tie the first game, she repeated the successful attempt to give her team a 2-1 lead, and the Warriors never showed the emotion or movement on the court that had carried them to a 19-2 mark.
The Warriors cut down on unforced errors in the second game and took a lead of 23-22 late in the game, when Lauren Casassa (12 points, four aces, nine digs) sent a kill attempt beyond the back line. Schmidt (12 kills , three blocks) tattoed the floor with a shot to tie it, then untied it with another spike to the hardwood and another unforced error, this time a net violation, slammed the Warriors.
Diemer (two points, 23 of 25 spiking with nine aces, 41 of 43 passing with 32 aces) sent her only ace serve of the night to a tight spot on the sideline to give the Warriors their last lead of the night at 10-9 in the third game.
A an ace block by Schmidt tied it again, but the Warriors slowly sank into the sunset.
"We don't try to dictate the style of play to other teams," Taylor said.
"I always tell the girls to just play their style and let the other team adapt to us."
The Bulldogs did just that.
"I never saw that many shanked balls," Fowler said. "It was a great season, though, and it wasn't from a lack of trying or poor effort. I feel bad for them right now, but they have a great deal to be proud of."
Kelly is a freelance writer for the Ashtabula Star Beacon