The Our Lady Academy Crescents stamped their ticket to a semifinal match at Belhaven University in Jackson with a three-set sweep over Sacred Heart of Hattiesburg on Thursday in Bay St. Louis.
The Crescents closed out the Lady Crusaders 25-10, 25-12, 25-6 in the second round of the Class I volleyball playoffs and advanced to the semifinals, which will be played Oct. 28.
Hannah Gest led the Crescents with 29 assists and Alia Tayara scored 17 points. Mary Rimmer and Emma Funk tallied 10 kills each, followed by Becca Walk with six and Olivia Gelpi with five.
The Crescents made a statement run to start the third game, opening with a 13-0 lead.
“We’ve played very well lately,” OLA coach Mike Meyers said. “The key now is with the long layoff until next week to keep up the intensity we’ve had and play as well as we’ve been playing. I am very proud of them. We’ve had a great season. Now it’s time to finish.
“It was really fun tonight because everybody played well. We had a lot of fun and everybody played at the level they’re capable of playing.”
The Lady Crusaders made a good run early but struggled with the intensity of the four-time defending champions.
“I told our girls that if we had played this well all season that we probably wouldn’t have lost a game, especially in those first two games,” Lady Crusaders coach Kerry Geroux said.
OLA improved to 31-7. A win Oct. 28 will put the Crescents in the championship match on Oct. 29 at Millsaps College in Jackson.