PHOTOS: Olympia volleyball tops Riverview 3-2 in regional semifinals -- Observer Preps
The Titans' exciting win in five sets against the Rams advances them to the regional finals for the first time since 2013.
| 11:00 p.m. November 1, 2017
It took five exciting sets, but the Olympia volleyball team finally got past the Riverview Rams in the playoffs.
The Titans (18-9) defeated Riverview (24-4) 3-2 in the regional semifinals of the FHSAA Class 9A Playoffs: 25-11, 19-25, 25-19, 18-25 and 15-7.
The Rams had ended Olympia's season in each of the past two seasons, and with the victory the Titans return to the regional finals for the first time since 2013.
"I thought we had an awesome week of practices ... I thought we had four really, really good practices," head coach Mitch Sadowsky said. "I don't think we handled adversity very well at the beginning of the match, but I thought we came out with enough fire in the fifth set ... we played so well in that fifth set that we really didn't leave much to chance."
Though it took a total team effort for Olympia to pull within a game of the Final Four, a few players stood out statistically in the Titans' victory.
Senior captain Johnna Shamley had 22 kills and 22 digs to help lead the way, while junior libero Anaeli Perea had 32 digs to key Olympia's defensive efforts.
"I think an unsung hero for the whole season has been Anaeli Perea," Sadowsky said. "She's really set a defensive tone from the first day of practice that our team has really adopted — we haven't played this type of defense, I don't think, in my nine years here."
Olympia will host Centennial (19-8) in the regional final Nov. 7 at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to the state semifinals.
For the moment, though, the Titans' veteran coach is appreciative of the effort his team has brought to the hardwood all fall.
"For them to push through and to get to somewhere we've been talking about getting from, really, Day One — I'm really proud of our girls," Sadowsky said. "I'm really excited for next week."