Playoff jitters hit No. 6 Glenelg last night, but not for long.
The top-seeded Gladiators (14-2) struggled with their hitting and serving early, and Surrattsville took advantage of the mistakes.
But once the Gladiators' offense clicked, it wasn't long before Surrattsville (10-6) was back on the bus for its 90-minute trip home to Prince George's County.
Glenelg finished off the Hornets, 15-8, 15-8, 15-1, in a Class 2A South regional volleyball semifinal.
Tomorrow, the Gladiators will play host to the winner of yesterday's Great Mills-Fairmont Heights match for the right to advance to next week's state semifinals.
Last night, the Gladiators fell behind early in each of the first two games.
They rallied from three points down in the first game and five points down in the second.
"It was playoff jitters. That's what everyone was saying," said Glenelg senior Marisa Davidson. "We didn't know anything about them. I wasn't expecting a powerhouse mainly because I hadn't heard of them, but you never know."
Early in the match, the Hornets served well and returned almost everything. That scrappy defense kept them in contention through the first two games.
"I'm proud of the way we hung with this team," said Surrattsville coach David Heintzelman. "But the way [Davidson] can put the ball down, and we can't block her -- that's it. That's the difference right there."
Davidson, a 6-foot outside hitter, finished with 11 kills.
The Hornets managed to block just one, but even that ricocheted off their hands, clobbered a speaker in the rafters and came down out of bounds.
The rest of the Gladiators also contributed. Kerry Rutter, Emily Kessler and Elisa Davidson had three kills each, and Susan Geisler, Jaime Marshall and Cara Franklin had one each.
The Hornets had no big hitters. Most of their hits sailed long, although a couple were blocked. The Hornets' only three kills came on tips.
The Hornets often got the ball over the net with their defense.
For the Gladiators, who are used to facing power offenses, that approach caused a little trouble.
"Their defense threw us off balance a little," said Marisa Davidson. "They were throwing the ball over on the first pass, and we're not used to that."
Not until late in the match did Glenelg coach Marlene Janis stop thinking about last year's regional semifinal against Mount Hebron.
"Last year in the semifinal, we played terrible," said Janis, whose squad lost as Mount Hebron went on to win the state title.
"We were very jittery. We got behind, and we couldn't come back but this team was able to. I think we finally relaxed in the third game."
The Gladiators breezed through the final game taking a 12-0 lead. Their offense won every point in that run except one.
Marshall, Geisler and Marisa Davidson all served aces in the run.
Elisa Davidson eventually finished off the match with an ace off her jump serve.