LIMA — The St. Marys volleyball team took a big step forward this season with a second-half surge. Now they’ll try to make a big leap in the tournament on Saturday.
The Roughriders opened tournament play with a 25-15, 25-20, 25-11 win over Bath in a Division II sectional semifinal at Lima Senior on Wednesday.
St. Marys (12-11) advances to play Van Wert on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Lima Senior High School. The winner will face Defiance on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 6:15 p.m. at Leipsic High School.
St. Marys vs. Bath sectional semifinal at Lima Sr.: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smeveningleader/sets/72157636654971924/show/ 
“We’re not done yet,” St. Marys head coach Monica VanderHorst said. “We’ve got got a lot of improvement to make and I hope a lot of games left to play.
“We just have to keep our intensity,” VanderHorst said. “This is such a great group of girls. They enjoy playing together and that’s what it’s all about is having fun and working hard. They haven’t let us down all season.”
Erika Angstmann , who was named Second Team All-WBL on Wednesday night, led the Roughriders with 12 kills. Reagan Aller, who was named First Team All-WBL on Wednesday night, added 10 kills. Ally Angstmann had seven kills.
Mallory Kill and Ally Angstmann led the way with 13 digs and four aces apiece. Natalie Kuenning had 11 digs to go with her 30 assists.
“I think we only missed one serve,” VanderHorst said. “Our goal is three or less missed serves, so I’m satisfied with one. We did a nice job of hitting our zones and that’s what we have to do if we want to win.”
St. Marys scored 10 of 11 points midway through the first game to take a commanding 18-5 lead following an Ally Angstmann ace.
St. Marys broke away in the second game after Bath tied it up 9-9 with nine of the next 12 points. Erika Angstmann had six kills in the game along with two kills from Cortney Voisard and Rachel Meier.
VanderHorst mentioned LeeAnn Bertke, Ally Angstmann and Corney Voisard on the outside who help round out the Roughrider attack.
St. Marys scored six of the first seven points of the third game with Aller sending down five kills in the game.
With a win on Saturday, St. Marys would reach the district tournament for the first time since 2002. To get there they’ll have to beat Van Wert (15-7) for the second time in nine days. St. Mays earned a four-game 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20 win over the Couars on the road.
“They’re a very scrappy defensive team,” VanderHorst said. “They keep coming at you. We have to keep working hard here the next couple of days if we’re going to beat them on Saturday. They’re probably upset that we came in on their senior night and beat them. We had nothing to lose. We just wanted to prove we were the better team that night and hopefully we can do the same on Saturday.”
St. Marys moved its overall record above .500 for the first time this season. The Roughriders began the season 0-6 before finishing the season with six wins in their previous seven matches.