Meridian took care of business in the first round of the MUDECAS A Division volleyball Tournament Monday night.
The second-seeded Lady Mustangs swept Diller-Odell 25-17, 25-11 and are one step closer to a potential Class D1 State Championship re-match against Johnson-Brock.
Meridian coach Bob VanWesten said his team was able to come in and did what they had to against Diller-Odell.
"We played pretty well and stayed focused through the game," VanWesten said. "It probably wasn't as emotionally high as some games are, but they were able to complete the job the way we expected."
In the first set against Diller-Odell Monday night, Meridian jumped out to a 4-1 lead. The Mustangs got kills from Lauren DeLord and Rylee Pieper as well as an ace serve from Halle Pribyl during that opening run.
Diller-Odell cut the deficit to 4-3, but Meridian scored the next five points to force a Griffin timeout. Meridian scored the next three points out of the timeout to extend their lead to 12-3. Pieper had a kill and Jaicee Sobotka had an ace serve during the run.
Diller-Odell climbed back into it by scoring the next five points, including A kill and two ace serves by Mackenzie Vitosh as well as a kill by Kirsten Bures.
Meridian scored the next two points to make it 15-9, which included a kill by Pribyl. Diller-Odell came right back with a double block by Kirsten Bures and Addison Heidemann and then kills by each to make it 15-12. That forced Meridian into their first timeout of the match.
Out of the timeout, the two teams traded a point, but then four straight points by Meridian made it 20-13. Pieper had two kills during the run while Pribyl had an ace serve.
Meridian was able to coast to the 25-17 win from there.
"I think the big thing was our serves early," VanWesten said. "We seemed to be able to keep them out of system early. We got some aces and some free balls out of it and allowed us to sprint out to a lead."
In the second set, Meridian scored the first four points thanks to a kill from Erin Johnson, a block by Lauren DeLord and an ace serve by Pribyl.
Diller-Odell broke the run with a point, but kills by Pieper and Pribyl and an ace by Johnson made it 7-1.
Diller-Odell went on a run to make it 9-5, but three straight errors allowed Meridian to extend their lead to 12-5 and force a Diller-Odell timeout.
Bures registered a kill out of the timeout, but back-to-back kills by Pribyl made it 14-6.
The Griffins scored the next two points, but Meridian then went on a 9-0 run to put the game away. DeLord had two kills, Pribyl had three ace serves and Pieper had a kill during the run.
Meridian coasted to the 25-11 win to claim the match 2-0.
Diller-Odell is also a defending state runner-up in Class C2, but lost a lot of their starters to graduation. VanWesten said the Griffins did well in the first set running their offense.
"In the second set, as young as they are, I think their confidence level may have gone down a little bit and they started having a little more trouble passing against us," VanWesten said of Diller-Odell.
Meridian will now play Exeter-Milligan in the semifinals Tuesday night at 8:15. Exeter-Milligan advanced by defeated Bruing-Davenport-Shickley 25-22, 25-22.
Johnson-Brock defeated Meridian in the Class D1 State Championship last year. If the two teams win their semifinal games on Tuesday, they would meet in the MUDECAS Championship on Thursday.
VanWesten said they have a long ways to go before that scenario plays out.
"Playing Exeter-Milligan will keep us in line," VanWesten said. "We've played them a few times already and being a conference foe and everything, I don't think it will be hard to get our girls ready for that one."
On the other side of the A Division bracket, Johnson-Brock defeated HTRS 25-14, 25-18. They will play their semifinal game at 7 p.m. Tuesday night against the winner of Monday's late game between Freeman and Falls City Sacred Heart.
A Division results
Meridian over Diller-Odell 25-17, 25-11
Exeter-Milligan over BDS 25-22, 25-22
Johnson-Brock over HTRS 25-14, 25-18
Sacred Heart vs. Freeman LATE