After taking pivotal game, Columbian takes the match

FREMONT – Afterward, just about everyone agreed.

The third game of Columbian’s sectional final match with Clyde was the pivotal one in the four set affair. The Tornadoes found a way to win the game, 27-25, then took the match.

After the Fliers and Tornadoes split first two games – TC won Game 1 25-15, Clyde took Game 2 25-16 – the teams engaged in a back-and-forth set.

Clyde, seizing on momentum attained in Game 2, took an 8-3 advantage after a Hannah Wadsworth kill. The Tornadoes made it 8-5 after a Jourdan Hoffman ace, but the Fliers answered, going up 14-9.

But, Columbian ran off six straight points to take a 15-14 advantage. After that, neither team led by more than a point in the set until its conclusion. With Columbian holding a 23-22 lead, Clyde coach Betty Hasselbach called timeout.

“I said, ‘Girls, we have to play this point here like it’s the last point in the match,'” said Columbian coach Bill Bonham. “‘Because it very possibly could be the most important one in the match.'”

The game was tied three more times. A kill by Wadsworth knotted things at 25, before Columbian finished the game with kills from Maddie Williams and Haley Sendelbach.

“Getting Game 3 was most important, because it gave us an advantage,” said Sendelbach, who had a tremendous afternoon with 18 kills and six blocks. “We played really well as a team, and winning that third set really put us over.”

It also appeared to carry over.

Columbian opened up Game 4 with a 6-1 lead, getting three aces by Michaela Sharlow during the stretch. They were the only aces Sharlow had in the match; she also had 32 digs.

Hasselbach said losing Game 3 was tough for her team to come back from.

“In the fourth game, when we started out, we started out really sluggish,” she said. “We gave them, what was it? 6-1? And you can’t do that. You have got to come out and play strong against a strong team. You can’t spot them points.”

But Clyde didn’t fold. After falling behind 14-7, the Fliers went on a 12-3 run, going up 19-17 after another Wadsworth kill.

Bonham didn’t call a timeout at that point. Well, he wanted to, but he didn’t.

“I tried calling a timeout, but the official told me I didn’t have any left, but I did,” Bonham said. “And I got pretty upset and started yelling at the official, and I think our girls heard that. They feed off me pretty good. They know when I get mad and it’s on their behalf, they answer that.”

Columbian went on a 7-3 run, getting a key kill from Alyssa Price – who had 14 – and eventually won 25-23.

“We still had to finish and work hard to get it done,” said Williams, who had 14 kills, four aces and 18 digs.

Taylor Reinbolt had 21 digs, while Tessa Fuhrer had 23 assists and Huffman had 31 assists,

With the win, the Tornadoes moved to 14-9, and will face Bowling Green Wednesday at Findlay in the district semifinals. The match will start at 8 p.m.

“They’ve come a long way,” Bonham said of his team. “For them to step up and do nothing more than we ask them to do… we didn’t ask them to win. We didn’t ask them to dominate. We asked them to play hard, and we asked them to play with some passion and show some energy. They believed in themselves.”

Clyde finished at 16-6.

“This group of girls played with a lot of heart,” Hasselbach said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Tiffin; I thought they played really well too.”