By Josh Brown
CASSTOWN — With the postseason officially beginning Saturday, the Miami East volleyball team desperately needed a challenge.
The Vikings got that Monday night as they hosted Lehman, and Miami East came away with an impressive victory in four games, 28-26, 9-25, 25-14, 25-18.
“It was a great win and a great way to start off a long week for the girls,” Miami East coach Brian Bensman said. “Our girls came out a little nervous tonight, and it showed. The first and second games, our serve receive was not where it needed to be, and it put us in tough hitting positions. Give Lehman credit, though — they are a very aggressive serving team and of the best serving teams we’ve faced all year.
“After the second game, we talked to the girls about being the better team and making the athletic and smart play. In the third, we started off really strong, passing better and allowing our hitters to see the floor and the open areas of the court. We kept them more off balance by hitting some seams we couldn’t find or see because of our passing early in the match. The girls finished strong, and I am very proud of each of them.”
Jonni Parker led the Vikings with 21 kills, 14 assists and six aces, Kyndall Hellyer had 13 kills and 13 digs, Lindsey Black had six digs and Carly Gump had 18 assists.
Miami East hosted Bethel Tuesday in a match that was not complete at time of press. The Vikings finish the regular season Thursday at Twin Valley South before opening the Division III sectional tournament at Brookville Saturday against Greeneview.
* Girls Soccer
Troy 7, Fairborn 1
FAIRBORN — After last week’s clutch performance, upsetting Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division rival Sidney, the Troy girls soccer team may be hitting its stride at just the right time.
The Trojans followed up their 2-1 victory over the Yellowjackets last week with a sound 7-1 drubbing of Fairborn Monday night on the road, improving to 6-7-2 on the season after going six games without a victory.
The postseason tournament draw was held over the weekend, as well, with Troy getting the No. 8 seed. The Trojans will face the same Skyhawk team in the opening round on Oct. 19, with the winner facing No. 3 Centerville Oct. 22.
Before that, though, the Trojans have one last GWOC North matchup to focus on — Troy hosts rival Piqua Wednesday. With second place already locked up, the Trojans can still win the division with a victory over the Indians coupled with a Butler loss to Trotwood.
ME 3, Spr. Shawnee 3
CASSTOWN — Miami East’s girls capped off the home portion of their regular season Monday by battling Springfield Shawnee to a 3-3 draw.
Emily Holicki put the Vikings on top a little more than five minutes into the game, scoring on a through ball from Morgan Haney. And with 29:30 left in the half, senior Stephanie Hammond scored her first goal with an assist from Emma Linn to make it 2-0.
The Braves scored a pair of goals to tie the score before the break, though, and they took the lead with 11:27 to play. But Danielle Mannier was able to even things up for the Vikings one minute later, and the game ended in a tie.
“Tonight was not our best effort, but credit Shawnee for capitalizing on our mistakes,” Miami East coach Emalie Carson said. “We did good to come back after going down a goal, though, and not giving up.”
Miami East (9-4-1) travels to Twin Valley South Thursday to finish the regular season and Cross County Conference play.
* Boys Soccer
Bethel 4, Tecumseh 3
BRANDT — Bethel’s boys soccer team battled Tecumseh back and forth for 80 minutes Monday night on a rainy, windy Senior Night, but the Bees were able to come out on top with a goal in the final two minutes for a 4-3 victory.
After the Arrows took a 1-0 lead, Zach Cohee tied the score with an assist from Sam McKenny, but Tecumseh scored again to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
But Bethel came roaring bac in the second half, as Tyler Brueckman scored twice — both times on assists from Evan Hawthorn — to take a 3-2 lead. After the Arrows evened the score up, the Bees capitalized on a mistake in Tecumseh’s defensive end, with Hawthorn dishing to Cohee for the game-winning score.
“It was a very high-energy match that went back and forth,” Bethel coach Bob Hamlin said. “Tecumseh took advantage of the wind early, hitting one over our keeper’s head from 30 yards out, then they finished off the half with a 25-yarder over the head again. We came out and immediately put pressure on, but Tecumseh did not back down and knotted the score.
“That’s how the game remained until under 2:00. We tried a through ball, and confusion happened between a defender and the goalkeeper — and the ball popped free. Evan fought to gain possession laying on the ground and passed a ball to an all-alone Cohee to put it in with 1:40 left to give us the win.”
Bethel (12-2-1) travels to Miami Valley Thursday.
Other scores: Miami East 5, Spr. Shawnee 1. No further details were provided.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.