Prior to the season, Aurora head volleyball coach Tyler Price urged his players about their possible place in history.
After a so-so regular season, such thoughts seemed like a pipe dream for the Greenmen.
They sure smell like roses now.
Fifth-seeded Aurora earned its first district berth ever after topping fourth-seeded Cleveland Heights Beaumont 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21 Thursday. The Gates Mills Division II sectional final took place at Gilmour Academy.
With the win, the Greemen (12-12), who finished 4-8 in the Suburban League American Conference, earned a date with the Gilmour Academy-Gates Mills Hawken winner in a district semifinal contest, which is scheduled for Wednesday at Gilmour. Play is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.
After the match, Price was feeling rather enthused about his team. Who could blame him? This was a long time coming for the smaller school located on West Pioneer Trail.
"We might not have won the conference this year, but being the first team ever to make it past the second round of playoffs and winning sectionals feels pretty good to me," Price said.
"The team showed heart and grit that I haven't seen consistently all year. We were down in every set and battled back to either tie it or take the lead.
Kinze McWhorter led the way for Aurora with 11 kills, four aces and three blocks. Alayna Fromwiller also had 11 kills and Maria Parks and Izzie Zuckett contributed four aces apiece for the Greenmen.
Brooke Fishback also had a strong performance for Aurora with 18 assists and 17 digs. Parks added 15 digs and Maggie Bradley finished with 22 assists for the Greenmen.
"We knew going into the season that this team was special," Price said. "We had some adversity that set us up for the postseason. I couldn't have asked for a better team effort.
"We made it this far, no reason in quitting now. We know we have a very tall task in front of us. I know the girls are up to the challenge. It's going to be fun."