By PAUL HINES
WAYNE CITY —
Woodlawn’s volleyball team found itself facing an early deficit in Thursday’s regional final against Centralia’s Christ Our Rock.
That’s when middle hitter Annie Wehrheim started getting into a hitting rhythm. Wehrheim helped the Lady Cardinals get back in the game and take the match in three. Woodlawn won 25-23, 19-25, 25-19.
“After we get down, we don’t usually come up very well, but I thought we did a good job this time,” Wehrheim said.
With her team down 11-4, Wehrheim scored four of the next five Woodlawn points. She had a trio of kills and added an ace. Teammate Ryann French also had an ace during the run. The Woodlawn surge wiped out the Silver Stallions early momentum and got the Lady Cardinals within striking distance down 11-9. Wehrheim and Sabrina Durham led Woodlawn with 10 kills each.
“Annie got rolling tonight, and she hit the ball really well,” Woodlawn coach Sara Lamczyk said. “I love that she’s a sophomore. She’s a big player for us.”
The opening game stayed close with each team trading points before Christ Our Rock edged ahead at 22-20 after Rachael Lape recorded a kill. A pair of Silver Stallion errors tied the game before Wehrheim put Woodlawn up for good with a block. Durham ended the game with a kill.
Christ Our Rock took another early lead in the second game. This time the Silver Stallions didn’t lose the advantage. Amanda Geiger put Christ Our Rock up 16-10 with a kill, and was the focal point of the Silver Stallions offense when she was in the front row.
“It’s going to be hard to ever stop that girl,” Lamczyk said. “She’s a real good hitter.”
Woodlawn sliced the deficit to 19-17 after a Silver Stallions hitting error but never got closer.
The final game again saw the two teams trading points throughout until the end when Woodlawn took control. The game was tied at 17 when Durham gave the Lady Cardinals the lead for good when she slammed the ball to the floor. She added a block at the net on the next play, and Wehrheim put Woodlawn ahead 20-17 with an ace. Carly Ethridge and Durham teamed together for another block to give Woodlawn a 21-17 edge. The Lady Cardinals crept even closer to the regional title after a Silver Stallions hitting error. The match ended with a Christ Our Rock service error.
“It’s my senior year,” Durham said. “So it’s really exciting. I don’t get to stop yet.
“This is one of the best teams I’ve played on.”
Kelsea Bock led Woodlawn with 10 assists. Ethridge finished with five digs.
Woodlawn is 19-8 and advances to the Lebanon sectional where the Lady Cardinals will face St. Elmo at 7 p.m. Tuesday.