NANTICOKE — When Crestwood needed a big play, that spark to ignite the offensive fire, Grace Emmett was there.
When the Comets were trailing in a pivotal second set, again, it was Emmett that came to the rescue.
The senior hitter led the charge, sparking two key runs in the match, lifting Crestwood to a 3-0 victory over Lake-Lehman in the District 2 Class 2A volleyball quarterfinals.
The win puts the Comets in the semifinals against Nanticoke, a 3-0 winner over Dallas in the other quarterfinal played at Nanticoke.
I told the girls that if we could get a pass off the serve, we would run our offense and would be tough to score on, Crestwood coach Mike Williams said. Once we are rolling, we are tough to stop. Our serve and our serve-receive is so important right now. We really came to play.
I was nervous because we didn't practice for five days and I thought we were rusty in that first game. Once we shed off that rust, we were back to normal and we put it together in the third game.
It didn't surprise Williams to see Emmett step behind the service line with confidence and blast winner after winner. And the Crestwood coach expected to see four-year setter Carina Mazzoni dive and slide all over the floor.
Grace and Carina, they are seniors and this is their last hurrah, Williams said. We have great leadership, and they played like they wanted it tonight. I hope they can keep playing like that throughout this tournament.
Emmett was clutch. She sparked a 12-5 run in the opening set when the Black Knights were hanging close.
The senior came through was enormous one frame later.
Lehman led almost the entire second game, but with the stanza knotted at 19, Emmett stepped behind the 30-foot line and blasted back-to-back aces.
It led to a Crestwood 6-1 run, and a block by Megan Johanssen gave the Comets a 2-0 lead in the match.
When you get behind the service line, all I focus on is getting them in, Emmett said. It's so important. Even though we were down in that second set, we knew that we had to pick each other up. We are really close, and we know how important this is. Being a senior, this is my last chance to get a district title.
The momentum was too much for the young Knights, a team with only one senior, to overcome.
Crestwood won the first three points of the final game and led by as much as 11 (19-8) at one point to close out the match.
The first two games, I was pretty happy with, Lehman coach Kevin Koziol said. I think next year, we could have a pretty good year. We are young, and this was a good experience for them. I think the first game gave us some confidence and they knew they had a shot at it. We got ahead, which was great, but unfortunately, they caught us.
Taryn Wojnar and Emily Sipple both had 10 kills to pace the Comets, while Mazzoni had a match-high 23 assists. Emmett had five aces as the team combined for a total of 12.
Lehman was led by Brittany Acevado's four kills, while Maria Chinakaylo had 12 assists.
District 2 Class 2A quarterfinal Crestwood 3, Lake-Lehman 0
: Brittany Acevado, 4 kills; Maria Chinakaylo, 12 assists, Bethany Williams, 3 kills. CRE
: Carina Mazzoni, 23 assists, 4 kills, 1 ace; Emily Sipple, 10 kills, 1 ace; Taryn Wojnar, 10 kills; Grace Emmett, 5 aces