NEWARK The Big Walnut High School girls volleyball team advanced to a Division II regional final for the fourth time in five years, defeating Warsaw River View 25-19, 25-22, 25-14 in a regional semifinal Tuesday.

The Golden Eagles, who improved to 23-3, will face Hartley in the regional final at 2 p.m. Saturday at Newark. The winner advances to a state semifinal Nov. 6 at Wright State's Nutter Center.

Hartley, which was ranked eighth in the final state poll, defeated the Golden Eagles 25-19, 25-21, 27-25 on Sept. 2.

"We know what we've got," Golden Eagles coach Ron Lehman said of the rematch with Hartley. "They're a heck of a team. It should be a great match."

Big Walnut, which was ranked 12th in the final state poll, may have history on its side. In 2006, the Golden Eagles beat Hartley 25-22, 18-25, 26-24, 25-19 in a regional final after losing to the Hawks in four games in the regular season.

"We feel like we've improved a lot since we've played them," libero Jessi Tutorow said. "I'm sure they have, too, so it should be a good (match)."

Leading the Golden Eagles against River View were Tutorow, setter Tabatha Piper, opposite hitter Sammie Ebright and outside hitters Jazmine Reed and Summer Silvery.

"I don't remember giving up any runs more than a couple points," Lehman said. "We were siding out pretty consistently. We played great defense, our blocking was pretty solid and our outside hitters were tough. It was a
great effort by our kids."

River View, which finished 21-5, looked like it was on its way to tying the match at one game apiece when it took a 15-12 lead in the second game. However, the Golden Eagles scored 12 of the next 17 points to take a 24-20 lead. The loss seemed to demoralize the Black Bears, as the Golden Eagles took control of the third game early, jumping out to a 12-4 lead.

"Possibly they were a little down after losing two in a row," Lehman said.

According to Tutorow, nothing the Black Bears did surprised the Golden Eagles.

"We pretty much knew what they were going to do because our coaches had watched them play," she said. "We just did our best to remember where their hits were going to be."