The Knights sweep Land O'Lakes, while the host Mustangs lose in five games to No. 3 seed Clermont East Ridge.
By FRANK PASTOR
Published October 20, 2004
TRINITY - Mitchell coach Joe Dixon thought his team played with better flow and intensity and made smarter set-making and attack decisions than in its two victories over Clermont East Ridge earlier this season.
Somehow, it still wasn't enough to beat the Golden Knights on Tuesday.
Third-seeded East Ridge rallied from a one-game deficit and 8-5 disadvantage in the decisive fifth game to upset No. 2 and host Mitchell 16-25, 25-16, 25-17, 20-25, 15-12 in a Class 5A, District 5 semifinal.
East Ridge (17-8) advanced to Thursday's 7 p.m. final against top seed River Ridge (22-4), which defeated No. 4 Land O'Lakes 25-10, 25-9, 25-17.
Both winners clinched playoff berths.
"We say, "Play with passion, have fun, win big,' and having fun is so important," East Ridge coach Mary McCann said. "If they're not having fun, they're not doing well on the court."
Mitchell battled back from a 12-6 deficit in the fourth game to extend the match but ended its season 11-9.
"I'm really proud of the way they stayed composed in the fourth game," Dixon said. "But in a match like that where they're all fighting for it, I do think it comes down to a little bit of luck and a little bit of breaks. I think maybe the breaks didn't go our way that time."
Stephanie Schmitz led East Ridge with 18 kills and 18 digs. Lisa Anderson had 36 assists, 14 digs and five aces and Laura Hart added 11 kills and 24 digs.
Mitchell senior Kari Wiedinger had a team-high 17 kills in her final high school match but only 36 hitting attempts, compared to between 50 and 60 (according to Dixon's estimate) in the previous meetings between the teams.
"We didn't ride that horse enough," Dixon said.
Kelly Bruce and Tricia Thomas had seven kills apiece for River Ridge, which led for all but two points against Land O'Lakes. Brittany Castelamare contributed 31 assists and eight aces.
"I think we played pretty well," River Ridge coach Heidi Castelamare said. "We didn't drop our level of intensity down, which is good."