CEDAR RAPIDS – Samantha Meyers and her Grundy Center teammates got a little agitated after letting a Game 3 lead slip away.
And that was bad news for Janesville in the Class 1A semifinals Friday night at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
Meyers, an all-stater heading to Drake next season, led a charge that saw the Spartans (35-6) sprint out to a 12-3 lead in Game 4 on their way to finishing off a 25-21, 25-19, 26-28, 25-17 win, securing a spot in Saturday’s final.
Janesville, at state for a third straight year, closes at 32-9.
“We didn’t like the way we let them play their game in Game 3,” Meyers said. “It did make us a little mad and we were determined to come out and play our game in the fourth game.”
Whenever Grundy Center needed a big play, Meyers was the one to come through. She finished with 26 kills, many coming a critical moments to stop a Janesville run. Ironically, it was one of her few mistakes, a spike into the net that gave Janesville the winning point in Game 3.
“I wasn’t happy about that,” she said. “(My overall game) was pretty good, but we played well together as a team and everybody did their jobs and that is why we were able to win.”
Sophomore Stephanie Faust complimented Meyers with 12 kills and senior setter Heather Hook was spot on with her passes.
The first three games were all close. Grundy Center broke away late in the first two to win and looked like they were on their way to a sweep when Janesville came alive, behind sophomore Kendyl Sorge, to rally and force the fourth game.
The goal Saturday is clear for Meyers and her teammates. Spartans Coach Darwin Sents has brought many teams to state, but has never been to a championship match.
“Our goal was to get him past Friday night,” Meyers said. “Now we have done that and we want to finish the job and reward him with a state championship.”