Down 2-1 in games, Elisa Davidson didn't want her volleyball career at Glenelg to end yesterday at Catonsville High School in a Class 2A state semifinal match against North Caroline. So she played like only she can play.
"In the fourth and fifth games, she really wanted the match," said Glenelg coach Marlene Janis. "She wanted to take it a step further."
And so she did.
The Davidson-led Gladiators dominated the final two games and won the match, 15-7, 17-19, 6-15, 15-5, 15-4 to advance to Saturday's state final at noon at Catonsville Community College.
"She's a dynamic player," said North Caroline coach Margie Knight of Davidson, who finished with 26 kills. "She's the best all-around player I've seen this year."
Fourth-ranked Glenelg will play the winner of tonight's 7 o'clock semifinal between host Catonsville and South Hagerstown. That match was postponed yesterday because of poor weather in Hagerstown.
The Gladiators' season appeared to be in jeopardy after North Caroline (18-1) won an exhaustive second game -- the Bulldogs served for the game four times and Glenelg twice -- and dominated the third.
"That second game was very tough, very emotional and we let it get to us [in the third game]," said Janis. "We talked about how we had been in this situation before and what we needed to do to turn it around.
"We came out and took charge in the next two games. It really shows a lot of growth on this team, especially in this situation."
In the fourth game, North Caroline, which now has lost in three state semifinals and two state finals in the last five years, won the first point. Then, behind the powerful hitting and serving of Davidson, Glenelg went ahead, 11-1. The Gladiators simply never let the Bulldogs into the game.
Glenelg won the coin toss before the fifth game and elected to serve. Glenelg's momentum continued and before the Bulldogs knew it, they were down, 4-0.