GREENVILLE — Greenville’s volleyball team overcame a rough start, and they are in the Class A District 7 final because of it.
The Yellow Jackets knocked off Rockford in the district semifinals 19-25. 25-19, 25-16, 25-21 Wednesday night.
“I am beyond ecstatic right now,” Greenville coach Amy Rupno said. “This is the best they (Greenville) have ever played. They kept the intensity even when we lost that first set, they wanted it and you could definitely tell (Wednesday night).”
The Jackets (36-11-5) led 9-6 early in the first game, but a 10-4 run by the Rams (30-32) gave them a lead they would never relinquish.
“It was running different things, it was hit or miss depending where we were at during the game,” Rupno said.
Rockford coach Kelly Delacher said his team was playing decently enough to win the first game.
“We passed a little bit better and did a better job of limiting our errors,” Delacher said.
The second game was back and forth until Greenville broke a 13-13 tie with a 5-0 run to make it 18-13 Jackets and forced Delacher to call a timeout.
“We had tons of hitting errors and serving errors,” he said. “You can’t do that against a good team.”
Rupno credited her team for turning the match around.
“I think the fire, the drive, knowing we needed to win,” she said. “We decided to run a quick (attack) to get past their (Rockford’s) block and that worked for us.”
The Jackets crusied in game three, led by Rosalyn Wyse with five of her team-high 15 kills in that game.
“That girl has more heart than anything,” Rupno said of Wyse. “She wanted this game tonight as well as her teammates.”
Leah Somerfield took over in the fourth game, as the junior had four kills in that game to give the Jackets the match.
“They (Greenville) played us very tough,” Delacher said. “They served us very tough, we had a tough time passing the ball and it made it difficult to get us into our system and run our offense.”
Megan O’Brien had 29 assists in the match. Somerfield blocked four Rockford attacks and Audrey Wyse had 12 digs for Greenville.
Greenville will face Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central in the final. The Rangers had to go to five games to beat arch rival Forest Hills Northern.
“They (Forest Hills Central) is a strong team,” Rupno said. “They beat Northern who we saw twice and hadn’t come out on top yet. I think if we bring the intensity we had tonight, the drive, the energy, I think we should be evenly matched (tonight).”
The Rangers also played on Monday, and Rupno didn’t think they played well then.
“This was their (Forest Hills Central’s) strong night,” she said of their semifinal Wednesday. “I’m hoping they bring what they showed on Monday. I think there was a Forest Hills battle there and they wanted it against Northern. We’re not a Forest Hills school. They don’t know what we have.”