Fourth seeded Gilford advanced to the Semi-finals in DII by beating fifth seeded Milford in 3 games by the scores of 25-20, 25-19, and 25-17 in Gilford on Saturday night. Gilford used a balance offensive attack with 6 players combining for 26 kills. Jordan Dean had 6 kills, Mikaela Mattice, Kirsten Dionne and Maddie Harris 5 kills apiece, Danica Gelotte 4 kills and Stratton Coleman 1 kill. "We played very steady volleyball tonight and it is evident we are peaking at the right time. We had a balanced attack utilizing all of our hitters, our defense was solid with 68 digs and we served 95 percent including 7 aces. The key was that we kept our composure throughout the entire match, especially when we had to come from behind in the first two games."
Milford jumped out and took the lead early in the first game 6-4 and 7-6 before Gilford tied the game on a Danica Gelotte tip kill from the setter position. Gilford held onto a slim 9-8 lead when Maddie Harris put down a kill spike for point 10 to make the score 10-8. Mikaela Mattice came to the service line and served four straight points to give Gilford a 14-8 lead. In that service run, Danica Gelotte had a kill tip for point 11, Kirsten Dionne had kill spikes for point 12 and 14 and Maddie Harris had a block for point 13. Milford rallied back and tied the game 19-19. With the game tied, Jordan Dean came to the service line and served 3 straight points including an ace serve for point 22 to give Gilford a 22-19 lead. In that run Mikaela Mattice had a kill for point 20. Maddie Harris ended game one with a kill for the final point to give Gilford a 25-20 win.
Milford jumped out to a 6-1 lead in game two. Milford held the lead until Mikaela Mattice came to the service line down 10-8. Mattice ace served point 9 and then Gilford tied the game 10-10. Gilford took a 12-11 lead that they would not relinquish on a Danica Gelotte ace serve for point 12. The Gilford offense finished out game two strong with kill spikes by Mikaela Mattice for points 21 and 22 and a kill spike for point 23 by Maddie Harris. Gilford won game two 25-19.
Gilford came out strong in game three and won 25-17 highlighted by 7 kills, 2 aces and 1 block. Jordan Dean scored 4 points with 3 kills and 1 ace, Maddie Harris scored 2 points with 1 kill and 1 block, and 5 players contributed with 1 point apiece: Shannon Mercer (1 ace), Stratton Coleman (1 kill), Mikaela Mattice (1 kill), Kirsten Dionne ( 1 kill), and Danica Gelotte ( 1 kill).
"Danica Gelotte played an exceptional game from the setter position. She set up a balanced offensive attack and she played well defensively. A lot of pressure is on the setter and we feel she handled it extremely well." Gelotte finished with 17 assists, 10 digs and 4 kills. "Shannon Mercer played well as our defensive specialist coming up with some key digs against Milford's right side hitter." Mercer finished with 10 digs.
Gilford advances to the semi-final round and will face top-seeded Coe-Brown on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Pinkerton Academy.