As the seventh winningest program in Ohio volleyball history, Norwalk has earned just about every accolade and accomplishment possible in the sport.
However, one feat it has been denied is a win at the state’s Final Four at the Ervin J. Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University.
In convincing fashion, that was taken care of Thursday afternoon as No. 4 Norwalk made quick work of No. 9 Kettering Alter, winning in three games, 25-12, 25-15, 25-18.
With the win, Norwalk (27-2) advanced to the Division II state championship, where it will play at 11 a.m. Saturday vs. No. 17 Cleveland Heights Beaumont (21-7).
Leading 8-6 in Game 1, Norwalk took control with eight of the next 10 points to take a 16-8 lead.
Geena Freriks had a big block and a kill in the stretch, while two serves into the net by the Knights did them no favor. With the lead at 17-10, Norwalk scored three more points, which included an ace by Sam Obringer that made it 20-10.
The game was finished off by a pair of kills from Alicia Lortcher, and a tip by Freriks ended the 25-12 win.
In Game 2, Alter found some spark and jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead.
After gaining the lead, Norwalk didn’t look back in Game 2.
In Game 3, Norwalk quickly raced out to a 6-0 lead, sending Jasinowski to another timeout in an attempt to regroup. It appeared to work, as Alter again showed life, cutting the margin to 10-9, which forced Kalizewski to call her first and only timeout.
Once again, Norwalk steadied back into consistent play, with solid blocking, defense and serving. Just as quick as the Knights got back into it, they were wiped out by a Norwalk team that was too powerful.
It scored 12 of the next 17 points to take a 23-14 lead, putting the Norwalk faithful on their feet in anticipation of a first-ever trip to championship Saturday, after falling in the state semis two other times (1993 and 2002).
For Norwalk, Abby Moffit had 31 digs, while Alicia Lortcher gained 12 kills.
Read more in Friday's Norwalk Reflector and Sandusky Register.