DOLGEVILLE - After dropping the second game of Thursday's Section III Class C-2 quarterfinal volleyball match against Onondaga, the Dolgeville Lady Blue Devils did not panic. Instead, they played their best game of the match.
Sixth-seeded Onondaga rallied from a 22-17 deficit to win the second game 25-22.
The third-seeded Lady Blue Devils refocused to win the next two games to eliminate the Tigers 3-1 on game scores of 25-15, 22-25, 25-11 and 25-20.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
Dolgeville’s Ashley Mettler (5) goes up to make contact with the ball during Thursday’s Section III Class C-2 quarterfinal match against Onondaga at Dolgeville High School.
"The second game we did not play the way we needed to play," Dolgeville senior Ashley Mettler said. "The first and third games . . . that is the team we want on the floor. Once we start losing, we get shaky and start hanging our heads. We just decided not to do that tonight."
Mettler finished the match with the volleyball triple-double of 22 kills, 22 digs and 10 assists and served three aces.
"Ashley was phenomenal," Dolgeville coach Barb Allen said. "She made saves that you need to have incredible balance to make. She hit things on the wrong foot and off balance. Those numbers, the triple-double, doesn't come along very often."
Dolgeville (12-5) advances to the C-2 semifinals and will play the winner of the quarterfinal match between No. 2 Sandy Creek and No. 7 Fabius-Pompey Tuesday at a site to be determined.
The Lady Blue Devils got off to a strong start with Taylor Brandow and Chelsea Bennett stringing service runs together en route to a 25-15 victory.
Dolgeville continued to roll early in the second game with Emily Young serving her team out to a 4-0 advantage.
Onondaga battled back to tie the game at eight and took the lead 10-8 on Kim Casper's service run and strong net play from Lindsay Wachna.
The Lady Blue Devils retook the lead 18-15 on a pair of Mettler kills and service runs by Rachel Randall and Mikey Rubas.
Dolgeville appeared ready to close out the second game after pushing the score to 22-17.
However, Casper opened game-winning service run with an ace and closed out the 25-22 victory to tie the match at one apiece.
Between games, Allen told her team a joke to get the Lady Blue Devils relaxed and refocused.
"They usually just need to stop and breathe and realize that they are going to be OK and get back to business," Allen said. "We had some communication problems [in game two] as to whose ball it was. I just needed to reassure them and send them back out."
It did not take long for the Lady Blue Devils to show they had put game two behind them and they broke out to an 11-4 lead on service runs from Randall and Rubas.
After a pair of quick side-outs, Chelsea Bennett strung together a six-point service run to extend the lead to 18-6 before the Lady Blue Devils closed out the 25-11 win and take a 2-1 match lead.
Onondaga fought back in the third game, putting Dolgeville in a 13-9 hole.
Mettler and Taylor Brandow connected for strong kills to go with an ace from Rubas to bring Dolgeville back and tie the game at 15.
The lead see-sawed until Randall stepped behind the service line with the Tigers leading 20-19.
Randall's service run and kills from Mettler were too much for the Tigers as the Lady Blue Devils closed out the game 25-20 and claim the quarterfinal victory 3-1.
"It just felt right tonight," Mettler said. "We have been through so much this season with all the ups and downs, we just want to go to final so bad this year."
Joining Mettler with strong games for Dolgeville were Rubas who had eight kills, five digs, three blocks and five aces. Young had 18 assists and 13 digs to go with two kills and an ace and Kiersten Manchester added 17 digs and a kill.
Onondaga (10-9) was led by Lindsay Wachna's eight kill, four block, four dig performance. Casper added seven kills, three digs, four aces and a block and Ashley Radio contributed four digs, six assists a kill and an ace.