With her team staring at a 2-0 deficit, Fredericktown's Mackenzie Logan kept imploring her teammates to win the third game during a Division III district final against the Heath High School girls volleyball team Saturday at Hilliard Darby.
"Then we'll get it to five (games)," said Logan, 6-foot-2 college basketball recruit.
The second-seeded Bulldogs wanted no part of that facing a league champion for the second time in four days after sweeping MSL-Cardinal Division champion West Jefferson in a semifinal Wednesday.
"No way," Kelly Roberts said. "Everything changes if they win that third game."
With her team trailing 16-12 in the third game, Heath coach Shela Croom called for a timeout and was visibly upset. The Bulldogs eventually heeded her words and, after trailing 20-19, scored the final six points to post a 25-22, 25-18, 25-20 victory.
"I told them we just needed to play our game. We got away from that and things started messing up," Croom said. "We were back on our heels again in the third game, but we stepped it up at the right time and did what we had to do."
The Bulldogs won a second consecutive district title, improving to 21-3 and advancing to play in a regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Findlay Liberty-Benton. The MBC-champion Freddies finished 20-2 with their only other setback coming against Bascom Hopewell-Loudon, which was sixth in the final Division IV state poll.
"It feels amazing," said libero Brittany Waddell, who had 15 digs to complement Courtney Kramer's 10 digs and seven blocks and Kenisha Body's 10 kills and six blocks. "We've come so far. Everyone thought with what we lost after last year (four seniors) we couldn't make it back (to the regional)."
The Bulldogs also finished the first game with a 5-1 run to erase a 21-20 deficit. A 7-1 run in the second game proved decisive, handing Heath a 20-14 lead.