Jason Miller has never been one to say the expected.
The Heidelberg volleyball coach had just watched his team sweep Capital in the Ohio Athletic Conference quarterfinals, 25-14, 25-18, 25-17 at Seiberling Gymnasium.
The Student Princes, who dropped only one conference match all year, are two wins away from an Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament title, and an automatic bid to the Division III regionals.
So Miller has to be confident, right?
"No, I am never confident with this group," Miller said. "They're up and down all year long; it's been like a roller coaster. Up, and down, a lot of yelling and screaming."
But Miller wasn't putting his team down, just stating facts.
"But I am confident in their heart, I am confident in them," he said, "because they don't want to quit. I haven't had a team - in all these years -that just, they have the biggest desire not to lose."
And while Miller admitted to lacking confidence in his team, the players themselves had it in abundance Tuesday night, cruising in the first game, decisively winning the second and then rally from and early deficit in the third.
Key to much of the night was Mohawk graduate Sarah Parker, who smashed 10 kills.
"She has that ability, that's why we recruited her," Miller said. "That's why every Sunday at church I sat behind her, to get her here and perform the way I watched her play in high school."
Parker said the team came into Tuesday ready to win.
"We knew this was a tournament game, and we don't want to be done," Parker said. "We don't want our season to end. It's been so much fun that we don't want to see it end, especially on our home court. But we basically knew it was do-or-die tonight, so we kept fighting and kept pushing and we knew we could do it; we have faith in every single person out there."
It was the final home match for HU seniors Amber Welfle and Alexa Frank. Welfle lined 14 kills and five digs in the win.
"Winning in three, there's nothing much better than that," Welfle said.
Miller said he thought Welfle could have had a better match.
"She knows that," Miller said. "But the cool thing about Amber is she's a competitor. She's gonna be watching film, figuring out what she did wrong and get that fixed and show up on Friday hitting on all cylinders."
Frank, a Calvert graduate, led HU with 21 assists. She also had six digs.
"I thought Alexis set a great game tonight, made a couple of adjustments in the middle of that game," Miller said. "I thought she did a great job."
Frank said the goal is to win the OAC Tournament.
"That's what we've been fighting for since Day 1," she said. "To be at the top."
Heidelberg will play in the semifinals Friday in Alliance against Ohio Northern.
Capital (15-15) was led by Courtney McCracken, who had three kills and 13 digs. The Crusaders best chance at a victory came in Game 3, when, with Kelly Leonard serving, they scored the first four points. Then, after an attack error by Parker, they opened a 7-1 advantage.
Welfle said HU didn't lose confidence after Capital's run.
"Our biggest thing we've been talking about all season is just focus in, focus in," Welfle said. "No matter what the scoreboard says, just focus on the next point."
Heidelberg went on an 8-2 run, capped by a Welfle kill, to tie the game at 9. From there, the Student Princes took over.
Jamie Kluding finished with 10 kills for Heidelberg, while Megan Mills had three aces. Grace Samenuk had 10 digs, while Stephanie Romie had 18 assists.
Capital's Marissa Price, a Columbian graduate, played in a set and had an assist.