“I know … all of that commotion had to hurt them,” Andover coach Sue Coffman said. “I think all of our kids stepped up a little bit and took advantage of some things.”
When questioned after the game, the up official would only confirm that Otte received a yellow card – apparently for something he said to the office -- then another yellow and a red, which resulted in his ejection and removal from the gym. A Valley Center player was also given a yellow card. The official said all the cards were given for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Andover (23-11) was leading 10-8 when all this took place, having broken an 8-all tie on a kill by Jaylyn Agnew. A violation against the Hornets led to Otte’s comments and subsequent ejection.
Despite the commotion, Andover earned the win by playing well in both sets. Once play resumed, Agnew picked up where she left off and added to the lead with a dink. The Trojans went up 12-8 before a kill by Taylor Johnson ended the run.
A pair of kills by Valley’s Meagan Williams cut Andover’s lead to a single point, 13-12. The Trojans proceeded to score the next four points, three on Hornet errors, for a five-point advantage.
Perrin Spears slammed down three kills as Valley pulled to within 20-17. Kills by Lindy LeMaster and Agnew, sandwiched around two more Hornet errors, put the Trojans up 24-17, their largest lead of the set.
The Hornets crept to 24-20 before a ball into the net gave the first set to Andover.
The second set was tied six times. Valley broke the last deadlock (9-9) to go up by one. After that, The Trojans rattled off seven straight points to lead 16-10. Agnew had a couple of kills and Regan Peare scored on a deep push during that run, which was helped by Valley errors.
With Jessie Zivnuska providing the spark with three kills, the Hornets crept to within two points, 22-20, before the Trojans eased to a 24-21 lead. Sydney Staehr then closed out the set and the match with a kill for the final point.
“He (Otte) is a strong force and he’s a strong presence there. When he’s not there, it’s kind of where do you go and things like that,” Randolph said. “At the same time, they need to work through it. They need to push through that. Things like that are going to happen and he might not always be there.”
Valley Center advanced to the finals with a tough 25-18, 32-30 win over Pratt. Andover went three in downing Garden Plain, which was ranked fourth in Class 3A, 26-28, 25-22. 25-23.
Garden Plain had little trouble beating Pratt 25-13, 25-14 for third.