Giltner advances to Saturday final

Two of the sets took comeback efforts, but the defending D2 volleyball champs Giltner Lady Hornets took advantage of timely timeouts to regain their composure and sweep Exeter-Milligan 3-0 Friday morning in the semifinals of the D2 state volleyball tournament. After a back-and-forth first set match in which the Lady Hornets won 26-24, Giltner was faced with a huge 15-4 deficit to the Timberwolves in the second set. But after a key timeout by Giltner coach Kurt Polt, the Lady Hornets benefitted from four straight errors by E-M, cutting the Timberwolves' lead to 16-8.

Giltner senior Baily Craig and juniors Audra Joyce and Chainey Tompkin followed that with kills of their own to cut the E-M lead even more to 17-12. The Lady Hornets finally tied the set at 18 off a Tompkin block, and took a 19-18 lead after, yet again, another block from Tompkin. Giltner senior Jaclyn Happold was sneaky good in the match, acting like she was going to set the ball, but instead just lightly tipped the ball that landed in the middle of the E-M defense. After the Happold kill, Giltner took a 22-19 lead and then cruised to a 25-21 set win.

In the third set, Giltner trailed 21-16 and was on the verge of having to play a fourth set, but two kills by Tompkin and an ace serve by junior Taylor Rhoades cut the deficit to 21-19. After another Tompkin kill through the hands of the E-M defense, the score was tied at 23. The Timberwolves didn't help themselves in the final moments of the match with one of their kill attempts and blocks both landing out of bounds, giving the Lady Hornets the sweep.

Giltner will play in the championship at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

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