Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
LOGAN — There are three things certain in life — death, taxes and the Adena Warriors making a memorable tournament run.
After cruising to a district title with a sweep of Northwest, Adena (24-2) continued a white-hot streak of set victories with a sweep of Beverly Fort Frye in a Division III regional semifinal on Thursday by a 25-19, 25-14, 25-22 final — sealing the deal on the 39th, 40th and 41st consecutive set wins.
“We knew [Fort Frye] would play fast,” senior Jenna Martin said. “We had watched film on them, so we knew we just had to quicken our defense and quicken our blocking so we could stop [Fort Frye’s] hitters.”
That plan worked to perfection.
The Cadets (24-3) battled in the early goings, taking an 8-5 lead to start. But the Warriors, as always, had an answer. Behind a kill from Jenna Martin, the Warriors tied the game at 13-13 before taking a lead via Ellie Harper.
Those two points were the start of a 5-0 run to give Adena an 18-13 lead, one led by Martin, Harper and Hannah Burns.
Burns made it a 19-15 lead before Sydney Foglesong produced a block for a 23-18 advantage.
From there, a 25-19 win took place and Adena had a 1-0 edge in the match.
In the second, the Warriors started strong and ended in the same fashion.
After Burns made it a 5-2 ballgame, Harper and Foglesong logged back-to-back kills to make it 8-2. That lead swelled to 13-6 and 17-7, with help from Makenna Lovely and Burns, before the Warriors put away a 25-14 win to take a 2-0 advantage.
“I think the [fast start] was huge,” Lovely said. “We also knew that we’ve lost games where we were up 2-0 before. So we knew we had to get the third down and that we couldn’t let down.”
Fort Frye battled in the third but it wasn’t enough to fight off a furious effort from Adena’s offense.
Using the service line and an impeccable lineup at the net, as they had all night long, the Warriors used a 5-0 run to take a 12-7 lead. Harper then made it 15-11 before the Cadets stormed back to take a 17-16 lead.
After ties at 19, 20 and 21, 22, Adena took a 24-22 lead before pounding the nails in the coffin on a victory and punching its ticket to an Elite 8.
“We worked really har on imitating [Fort Frye’s] plays in practice so we could be quicker on our feet,” Foglesong said. “Our defense has done a great job of getting on the floor and diving after balls. When you put all of that together, it’s hard to stop.”
The Warriors will be back in action at 2 p.m., Saturday at Logan High School against Westfall. The Mustangs are a team that Adena has beaten twice already this season — a third victory would catapult the Warriors into their first state semifinal since 2014.
But Martin was the first point out that beating a good team three times is no easy feat.
“I think we just have to play confident,” she said. “We know what we can do and we know our strengths. We know we can win.”