Norwalk 3, Padua Franciscan 2
Norwalk came back from a two-game deficit to defeat Padua in a Division II regional championship, 23-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-10.
The Truckers will face No. 9 ranked Kettering Archbishop Alter (21-9) in a Division II state semifinal game at 12 p.m. Thursday at Wright State University.
Norwalk is making its third trip to state for Norwalk (1993, 2002).
Norwalk let Game 1 slip away, jumping out to leads of 5-0 and 17-13. Norwalk was leading 23-22 with possession, but an out of bounds serve allowed Padua to set up and finish the last two points of a 25-23 win.
Game 2 started out a back-and-forth affair, but Norwalk again settled in and took a 18-16 lead. However, Padua scored seven of the next nine points to take a 23-20 lead.
Norwalk did rally to tie it at 23 out of a timeout, but Padua’s Emily Marcinowski found a couple holes in the Norwalk defense to close out a 25-23 win.
In Game 3, Norwalk again appeared in control up 20-17, only to see Padua tie it at 21. Moments later with it tied at 23, Geena Freriks found a hole on a lob at the net for a 24-23 Norwalk lead, which was finished off on a hit by Oakley Shane, 25-23.
Norwalk trailed 10-7 early in Game 4, but rode the momentum of a large fan base to catch fire, scoring 13 of the next 17 points to take a commanding 20-14 lead and make Game 5 appear to be a certainty.
Included in that stretch were two big aces by Norwalk junior Abby Moffit.
When it came to the final game, after it was tied at 4-4 early, it was all Norwalk.
Sam Obringer finished with 30 digs.
Mikailey Rogers was 18 of 18 serving with an ace and 19 digs.
For more information on this game, see Sunday's Sandusky Register and Monday's Norwalk Reflector.