By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — If the Troy volleyball team was still stinging from its five-set loss at Tippecanoe last week, it got to take its frustrations out on an old rival on Thursday.
There was little Piqua could do to stop the Trojans, either.
Troy’s Lauren Schmitz set the tone early, slamming down her first five kill attempts of the match without a miss, and the Trojans were dominant from there, sweeping the outgunned and outmatched Indians 25-7, 25-9, 25-10 in Miami Valley League Miami Division play Thursday at the Trojan Activities Center.
Troy, which also swept Stebbins earlier in the week, improved to 9-1 overall and 8-1 in the MVL Miami, while Piqua dropped its fourth straight and fell to 5-6 overall and 4-5 in the MVL Miami.
“We’re just trying to get better every day,” Troy coach Michelle Owen said. “Our goal was to use these matches to work on aspects of our game and not get sloppy, which, even against Stebbins on Tuesday, we felt like we were sloppy. We gave up 19 points in a game, and a lot of it was our errors, our mistakes and playing to the level of our competition. And we can’t do that.
“We’re trying to set goals every night. We had a goal for how many points we were going to allow in each set, and tonight we met that goal. I was pleased with that aspect of our game. We’ve just got to try to keep our focus and work on what we can control, limiting our errors and getting better every day so when we play a match like on Saturday (against Versailles) we can execute some things.”
Schmitz, last year’s Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division Player of the Year, was 5 for 5 on swings in the first set, with four of them coming during the Trojans’ 12-1 run to begin the match. Emmie Jackson served nine straight points with two aces, then Brianna Slusher served six more with an ace to give the Trojans a 20-4 lead. And on the flip side, Tylah Yeomans was the only Piqua server to serve up even one point in the set, and Aubree Schrubb had the Indians’ only kill as the rest of their points came on Troy’s very few errors.
Schrubb started out the second set with a kill, but Troy quickly reasserted itself, with Kate Orban serving the Trojans out to an 8-1 lead, finishing the run with back-to-back aces. Schrubb then served two straight to get Piqua back to within 10-6 and an ace by Reagan Toopes cut the lead to three at 11-8, but a kill by Schmitz gave her the serve, and she ran off eight straight — including four aces and a handful more that Piqua simply couldn’t return — and the Trojans quickly led the match 2-0.
And in the third, Orban served Troy out to a 6-0 lead, Schmitz later served a four-point run to make it 15-3 and the Trojans closed it out from there.
Schmitz finished with 11 kills on 16 attempts with no errors to lead the Trojans, adding seven aces, two assists, six digs and two blocks. Hallie Westmeyer had four kills, Orban had three kills, five aces and seven digs, Brianna Slusher had two kills, an ace and a dig and Anna Boezi had two kills, two digs and three blocks as Troy’s offense only had three hitting errors in the match.
“Which is good. Our efficiency has to get better,” Owen said. “Against Tipp, we were not efficient. We had too many errors that night, and a lot of that came out of ball control. We’re trying to work on that aspect so we don’t go through those serve receive ruts like we did. It all plays into each other. We’ve got to make sure we’re playing cleaner, passing better and not making those mistakes — because at key times last week, those mistakes cost us points. And those points cost us sets.”
Also for the Trojans, Jackson had three aces, five digs and an assist, Morgan Baber had seven assists, Emily Huber had six assists and two digs, Morgan Kaiser had three assists and an ace, Ella Furlong had three digs and an assist and Genna Coleman had a dig.
For Piqua, the offensive numbers were thin. Schrubb led the way with five kills, two blocks and an ace, Yeomans had two kills, Sydnee Hawk had a kill and Toopes had an ace.
Troy will face a tough non-league test on Saturday when it travels to Versailles, while Piqua returns home Monday to host another division rival, Butler.
“We were really trying to work on some things this week to fix and implement before we get back to some of our heavy non-league games and before we see Tipp again,” Owen said. “We did some film study on our Tipp game and our upcoming opponents like Versailles. We saw some things we needed to work on defensively and some things offensively to try to speed up our game so hopefully when we see the kind of blocking we will this weekend, we can be a little more prepared.”
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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