ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The East Liverpool Potters could not corral the Colts.
The Meadowbrook volleyball team pulled away in the second half of all three games en route to defeating East Liverpool, 25-17, 25-17, 25-16, in Division II sectional tournament play Wednesday on John Jenkins Court.
"We played really well Monday, and we had a letdown tonight against Meadowbrook," East Liverpool coach Bob Shansky said. "Meadowbrook is a very-good team. They are well coached. They play a good schedule.
"Every time it got to 11-11 or 12-11, they would run off five, six or seven points in a row. We had one of our starters out. We had to play one of our freshmen. She blocked well. She played well. We have to learn to adjust. It is tough when you are playing with someone for 18, 19 or 20 games. We had some different kids serve. We had some kids playing different positions.
"At this point, you have to play your best or you go home."
The Potters finish the season with a 13-11 record.
Fourth-seeded Meadowbrook will play fifth-seeded Minerva in a sectional final at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Minerva advanced by defeating second-seeded Indian Creek, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 27-25, in Wednesday's opener.
The Potters were hurt throughout the match by unforced errors.
"At last count, I had us with 15 unforced errors," Shansky said. "In a sectional semifinal, you can't have 15 or 16 errors. That was a big problem.
"We also could not get the ball to where we wanted it. I'm not saying we didn't set the ball well. We just couldn't get it to where we needed it to go.
"We scouted them. We knew what they had. The ball just dropped. We did not play our best game.
"There wasn't a carryover from Monday. We played really well Monday against Beaver Local, and you would hope there would have been a carryover from that to tonight, but that was not the case. We were a little flat.
"They knew this was their last time playing. There is a little sadness down there."
Individually for the Potters, Madison White tallied 13 spikes, three kills, 48 sets and 10 assists, Caitlyn Davis delivered 21 spikes, three kills and five points and Kiara Cowart contributed 15 spikes and seven kills.
"She didn't miss tonight," Shansky said. "She is been playing really well for the last five games."
Also for East Liverpool, Taylor Ward recorded 16 spikes, two kills and six points, and Sierra Voorhees scored six points to go along with 10 assists.
Cowart tallied 27 spikes and 12 kills in the East Liverpool's win over Beaver Local, while Davis delivered 45 spikes and 16 kills.
The Potters are losing three players to graduation, Darcy Olmstead, Cowart and Ward.
"We are losing three seniors," Shansky said. "I had Kiara Cowart for four years. I had Taylor Ward for four years. Darcy just came out. They are all good kids. Two of them are starters. We have some good talent coming up.
"We ended the year 13-11. I am proud that we had a winning season again."
Shansky said he will look back on this season in a positive light. The Potters got off to a rough start this season, but East Liverpool turned things around late in the season.
"This season was a surprise," Shansky said. "We were up for five or six years. We played well. We went to the regional finals.
"This is a new group. They are a new team. They were not a part of that. Kiara Cowart had Kelly Kiger in front of her. She came into her own this season. She had a great season. Taylor Ward played well.
"We were young at some positions. We have some good kids coming up. We will be fine. We have some good underclassmen. We have some good younger players.
"This year was a surprise. We began the season 2-6, and we ended it 13-11. We went 11-5 to end the year. That is pretty good.
"When the season started, it had disaster written all over, but the kids did not let that happen. They wanted to play more. We won a sectional game. We made the OVAC Tournament for the umpteenth time. They didn't want to be the team that didn't make it. They worked hard this year."
In the end, Meadowbrook was able to find the holes in the East Liverpool defense, and the Colts were able to take advantage en route to the victory.
"They served short," Shansky said. "We didn't cover that. That is my fault. They had us scouted, and they knew we didn't cover that sometimes. We should have adjusted sooner. They did a nice job."
Edison will play Carrollton in the first sectional final at 6 p.m. Saturday. Edison advanced by defeating Big Red in three games in the semifinals Tuesday night, while Carrollton also dispatched Buckeye Local in three games.