By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
COVINGTON — The Lehman Catholic and Fairlawn volleyball teams will play for a sectional title at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Covington High School.
Lehman Catholic 3,
Catholic Central 0
The Lady Cavaliers improved to 20-4 on the season with a 25-13, 25-11, 25-11 win over the Irish.
The second seeded Lehman team set the tone early with big blocking and hitting from Olivia Lucia, Reese Geise, Lauren McFarland, Abby Schutt and Abbi Haller; powerful serving by Lucia and McFarland; and a solid defense led by McFarland, Heidi Schutt and Pyper Sharkins and the setting of Megan Carlisle.
“I thought we came out and hit and blocked the ball well and served aggressively,” Lehman coach Carolyn Dammeyer said. “I thought our serve receive and passing were good. We did a good job getting the ball to the setter. And I thought our defense was pretty good tonight.”
The third set was the only challenge for the Cavaliers.
Following an ace by Schutt, Lehman had a 13-8 lead.
But, Catholic Central ran off three straight points to get within 13-11 — forcing the only Lehman timeout of the match.
“I thought our serve receive and defense wasn’t as good in the third set,” Dammeyer said. “We knew Catholic Central was a scrappy team. During the timeout, I just pointed out some things to the girls.”
McFarland responded with a kill for sideout to make it 14-12 and then served three straight points to make it 17-12.
Haller had a service point and McFarland added a kill to make it 20-14.
Lucia served an ace to make it 21-14, McFarland and Geise had kills down the stretch and Abby Schutte finished off the match with a kill on Carlisle’s serve.
“I thought we responded well,” Dammeyer said. “I thought everyone played pretty well.”
Lucia had eight kills, five aces and seven digs; while McFarland added eight kills and 15 digs.
Abby Schutt filled out the stat sheet with five kills, four blocks and nine digs; and Carlisle had 22 assists and 11 digs.
In the fourth and final match of the day, 12th seed Covington saw its season end at 10-13 with a 25-18, 17-25, 25-13, 25-17 loss to the ninth seed Fairlawn.
“I thought our first touches weren’t consistent enough,” Covington coach Lonnie Cain said. “We had the setters running all over the place too many times.”
Fairlawn opened a 7-1 lead in the opening set and Covington never recovered.
But, the Buccs quickly flipped the script in the second set.
Lauren York had an early kill, then served three straight points — including an ace — to give Covington a 5-1 lead.
Fairlawn got as close as 14-13, before Covington pulled away.
A kill by Emmaline Kiser and an ace by Hillary Hoying made it 23-15 and Covington finished off the set with two points on Fairlawn hitting errors.
“Once we improved our ball handling, then we were able to attack and force some Fairlawn mistakes,” Cain said.
Then Fairlawn turned things around.
The Jets won the third set 25-13 and led 13-4 in the fourth set before an amazing comeback by the Buccs.
Hoying had a six-point service run to cut the deficit to 13-11.
At 15-13, Kiser served three straight points — including an ace — to give Covington a 16-15 lead.
“Emmaline (Kiser) didn’t play in the first match with Fairlawn because of injury,” Cain said. “I thought she played well today. Really, the whole team played well.”
Fairlawn was then able to score 10 of the next 11 points to finish off the match and Covington’s season.
“If you look at where we were at the beginning of the season, we have improved 200 percent,” Cain said. “I am really happy with the progress we made.”
Nigella Reck had two aces, eight kills, four assists and four digs; while Ellery Reck had two aces and 16 assists.
Emmaline Kiser had two aces and five kills; Hillary Hoying had five aces and seven digs; Olivia Mohler had five kills; and Alyssa Kimmel had six digs.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at email@example.com.
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