Coming off of its seventh straight Regional title, Latin was looking to take it one step further and make the sectional final. The Romans accomplished their goal, defeating Gordon Tech 25-11, 25-22 Tuesday in the Class 3A Westinghouse sectional semifinal on Tuesday.
The sectional final appearance is the first since 2004 for Latin (27-3).
Gordon Tech looked overmatched to start the match as Latin started the first set on a 5-0 run, thanks to four aces by Isabela Sessions. The Rams (18-13) were able to settle down and get the score to within 8-7 on back-to-back aces by Genevieve Jones.
The teams traded points until Latin took a 12-8 lead and then rattled off 10 of the next 11 points to put the set out of reach. The Romans managed to win the set despite having only three kills.
The second set looked much like the first, but in favor of Gordon Tech. The Rams got off to an 11-4 start, forcing Latin to call a timeout. Emma White had two kills in the opening spurt.
“It was a lot of our errors that was the difference,’’ said Catie Cronister. “We started passing really well, talking really well, but in the second set we weren’t passing well and got aced a couple times. That’s been a problem for us all year, keeping the same intensity.’’
Whatever coach Shari Davis told her squad during the timeout seemed to work, as the Romans battled back, cutting the lead to 12-9 on a kill by Sessions. However, Gordon Tech responded with a 6-0 run to open up an 18-12 lead that appeared would send the match to a third set.
But Sessions and Cronister had other plans. Cronister’s kill tied the set at 20 and Sessions followed with an ace to give the Romans a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Cronister added another kill and had the match-ending ace in the closing run.
“It happens quite a lot where we get down and then look at each other like ‘let’s go guys,’’’ said Cronister. “We really have this goal where we don’t want to let teams score three points in a row and when we do that we have a good chance to win.’’
Cronister finished with seven kills and White had seven kills for the Rams.