By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — Last year’s sweep of Miamisburg to reach the district final. Any of the past three years’ five-set victories over non-league rival Versailles. Beating division rival Tippecanoe to collect more league titles. Even a lip-sync contest victory.
As the Troy volleyball team’s eight seniors listed off their favorite memories as members of the team before Tuesday’s Senior Night match against Stebbins, one thing became clear: this Trojan class has enjoyed a colossal amount of success.
“So many good memories with this group, so many fun things that they’ve accomplished,” Troy coach Michelle Owen said. “Even the things that Emily (Huber) said, the things we did at team camp at Ohio State, the team bonding and those types of memories, those are really fun, too. We’ve done some really fun things together as a group.”
Tuesday at the Trojan Activities Center, the Trojans honored their seniors and then enjoyed a little bit more success, sweeping the Indians 25-6, 25-12, 25-6 to improve to 19-2 overall and 16-1 in Miami Valley League Miami Division to remain in line to win a share of their eighth straight division championship.
For Emmie Jackson — who was unable to play due to an injury — Ella Furlong, Carly Pfieffer, Kate Orban, Brianna Slusher, Morgan Baber, Lauren Schmitz and Huber, the actual win was almost an afterthought after the memories and accomplishments that the eight Trojans have collected over the years were listed off.
“It’s cool to remember stuff we did last season, like beating Miamisburg in three (in the district semifinal),” Owen said. “That was such a fun match. And beating Versailles — every time we beat Versailles, it’s always such an intense match, and almost every year someone brings up that memory. It really is just a fun out-of-conference rivalry. They’re such a great program, and obviously them being state champs makes it better for us to go out and play hard against them. Three years in a row, we’ve beat them in five now. And the year before that, I think they beat us in five.
“Every time you beat Tipp, that feels good, whether it’s in three, four, five. Last year was kind of a weird year — they came here the first time and didn’t play real well and we really took it to them, then the tables turned at their place and they beat us in four. Then this year, more balanced rosters, a different situation, we took a while to get going both times, but once we did it was an intense match and we split both with them. Them being state-ranked and a favorite to go far in the tournament, it makes it more of a heated rivalry. And we both want a piece of that league title.”
After Tuesday, Troy needs just one more win to wrap up an eighth straight title, too.
The Trojans began fast against Stebbins, with Baber serving them out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set with back-to-back aces, and then Genna Coleman serving 10 straight points, with two more aces during the run, to make the score 19-4. A kill by Baber on set point closed it out fast.
Furlong then ran off six straight serves, including three straight aces, to spot Troy out to a 10-2 second-set lead before the Indians began to fight back, closing to within 11-6. A four-point service run by Slusher later made it 19-8, though, and two kills by Orban and three by Schmitz finished the set off and gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead.
Stebbins tied the score 1-1 in the third set but was never able to take a lead as Orban served eight straight to give the Trojans a 10-1 lead. Furlong then served seven straight to make the score 18-4, and a three-point service run by Huber gave Troy a 22-5 lead. After a Stebbins kill, Schmitz put one down to give herself the serve, and two points later the Indians failed to return her serve to put an end to the match.
Schmitz had 12 kills, two aces and a block, Pfieffer had seven kills, a dig and a block, Slusher had six kills, an assist, an ace, two digs and four blocks and Orban had five kills, an ace, four digs and a block to lead the Troy offense. Anna Boezi added five kills, four digs and three blocks, Hallie Westmeyer had two kills and four blocks, Baber had a kill, 26 assists, three aces, a dig and a block, Huber had six assists, Furlong had three aces and eight digs, Coleman had four aces and a dig and Brennah Hutchinson had one dig.
Troy has one final regular-season match Thursday at division rival Piqua, needing to win it to clinch a share of the MVL Miami Division title.
“This is my biggest class to ever come through with eight kids,” Owen said. “I’ve had one senior, and now I’ve had eight, so we’ve had the whole range in between. It’s pretty cool that these eight have stuck together, and they’ve kept it pretty tight among them. That doesn’t always happen with groups of seniors, so for eight of them to stay tight and play together for each other, it’s pretty cool to see.
“They all got on the floor, and they all played well. We passed the ball pretty well tonight, and we served really well. We didn’t miss a lot, we hit our zones, we had a lot of aces. When we were in system, we hit really well. Our hitters did a good job of hitting spots. It was fun to see them all go out and have fun and contribute on Senior Night.”
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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