WISNER — It's postseason volleyball time across the state.
The time when volleys last longer, the crowds get bigger and students show up dressed like, well, something or some theme.
Wisner-Pilger played West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic in the C2-4 subdistrict tournament here Tuesday evening and the Gators came away with a five-set win over the Bluejays to advance to the district finals this weekend.
In fact, GACC is sitting pretty well to make the district round as well, as heading to the district final, the wild-card spot comes into play and the Bluejays were sitting fourth in the power points heading into the subdistrict finals.
Wisner-Pilger has beaten GACC three times this season, including the subdistrict final win by a 17-25, 25-17, 15-25, 25-21 and 15-9 match on Tuesday.
"This time of year is fun for all of us," Wisner-Pilger coach Kay Raabe said. "You definitely run into some great competition — like here tonight and from here on out."
Trailing 2-1 in sets and tied 16-16 in the fourth race to 25, Emily Buhrman — who would finish with a match-high 19 winners — rifled a kill off of the GACC block and then slowed things up with a pace shot between the block to give the Gators an 18-16 advantage, forcing Bluejay coach Kate Hageman to call a timeout.
"I was pretty happy with the way we played," Hageman said. "They simply just played better at times or at enough times to win the match."
A block by GACC's Sophia Hass and a tip-kill just over the net on the line on the left side by Reese Throener evened the set back up at 18.
The Bluejays were called for four hits and Joslyn Jacobs hit a pace shot for W-P to build the Gator lead back up to two.
"We really played well when it we really needed to," Raabe said. "Everyone had a hand in it tonight."
An ace serve by Buhrman increased the lead to 21-18, but a Gator service error and a block by Throener brought the lead back to a single point, 21-20.
Wisner-Pilger's Lindsey Kneifl hit a back-handed tip off a pass to make it 22-20 but had more on her mind early in the evening — she performed the national anthem at the beginning of the match.
"I was really kind of shaky from the singing and the match," Kneifl said. "I like singing, but I really like the competition of playing really good teams like we did tonight."
Incidentally, she did a great job on the anthem and finished the match with 13 winners.
Taylor Timmerman smashed a kill for GACC to make it 22-21, but the Gators would close out the set after the Bluejays got in the net, Buhrman hit a kill off the block, and Lily Otten tapped a winner down the left side just inside the line.
Wisner-Pilger sprinted to a 6-3 lead in the set to 15 when Hageman asked for a timeout.
The Gators went up 8-3 after the break and went up 10-4 after back-to-back winners by Buhrman.
A couple of blocks by Kassidy Kaup and a Wisner-Pilger hitting error made it 10-7, but a Kneifl tip-kill brought the advantage back to four at 11-7 and started a 4-0 run by the Gators.
The Bluejays survived a couple of set points before a hitting error handed the set to Wisner-Pilger 15-9 and ended the match.
District finals will be set on Wednesday at the site of the higher seed.
"We're anxious to keep playing," Raabe said. "I have a suspicion we may see GACC again in the near future."
WISNER-PILGER defeats WEST POINT GUARDIAN ANGELS CENTRAL CATHOLIC 17-25, 25-17, 15-25, 25-21 and 15-9
WEST POINT GUARDIAN ANGELS CENTRAL CATHOLIC: Reese Throener 7k, 3b, 4d; Sophia Hass 15k, 3a, 1b, 32d; Megan Plagge 1b, 14d, 46s; Taylor Timmerman 18d, 1a, 3b, 7d; Erica Engelmeyer 11d; Kassidy Kaup 2k, 3b, 2d; Kelsy Steffen 7k, 1a, 1b, 17d; Greta Wooldrik 1b; Isabel Hass 2a, 62d, 2s.
WISNER-PILGER: Adison Meyer 2k, 12d, 30s; Alexia Martin 21d, 1s; Cameryn Bellar 5d, 19s; Lindsey Kneifl 13k, 1b, 6d; Emily Buhrman 19k, 1a, 13d, 2s; Joslyn Jacobs 9k, 2a, 1b, 23d, 1s; Lily Otten 11k, 2a, 3b, 3d; Kennedie Ott 3k, 10d, 1s; Maggie Schweers 2k, 1s.