“These girls just have so much heart and determination that they want it,” said Urbana coach Kayla Martin, in her sixth season as head coach. “They are hungry. “We haven’t been in this situation since I’ve been at Urbana.”
Urbana will only be making its second trip to the state semifinals. They lost in the semis in 2009.
Dulaney was denied its 15th trip to the state tournament’s final four. The Lions have won three state titles.
The first set was the tightest after the Lions took a 21-18 lead on an ace by Julia Whatley that prompted a time our by Urbana’s Martin.
An Urbana error and net violation pushed the lead to 23-18 before the Hawks rallied with five straight points that included an ace on a wicked jump serve by Burge and kill from Thompson.
Dulaney was tied 4-4 in the fourth set when they broke it open with kills from Slaughter, Irving and Tatyana Sabirzhanova for a 7-4 lead.
Trailing 22-15, the Hawks again mounted a comeback as they scored five consecutive points to make it 22-20.
A hitting error broke the streak and the Lions closed it out.
Coach Martin warned her team the Lions were ripe for a comeback.
“We had that conversation before game four,” Martin said. “Walk in, be confident, but don’t be over-confident, but Dulaney is a good team, they came back fighting and they knew where our weaknesses were defensively and they did that.”
Despite losing the fourth set, Burge was confident the Hawks could finish.
“Our team knows when they are down and when they are up and we really know how to harness the energy that we really need to push through,” said Burge, who emphasized the team aspect. “There is nobody that outshines anybody else and there is nobody that said that is my win, we are a team and that’s kind of the thing that we do.”
Dulaney coach Cary Lyon knows all about team chemistry as he watched his emotional squad take the loss hard.