By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
VANDALIA — It was a tough task as always.
The Troy volleyball team faced the second-ranked team in the state in Mount Notre Dame in the D-I district finals Saturday at the Butler SAC.
And as always, the Trojans left everything on the floor and let MND know they were in a match — losing 25-12, 25-17, 25-13.
“We came down here to compete and I felt like we did that,” Troy coach Michelle Owen said. “We scored around 15 points in every set. We wanted to win a set, but we didn’t get that done. Mount Notre Dame is a very good team.”
While Mount Notre Dame improves to 23-2, Troy finished at 22-3 after another outstanding season.
It included continuing a long streak of league titles and trips to the district finals.
It was the final match for Morgan Baber, Ella Furlong, Emily Huber, Emmie Jackson, Kate Orban, Carly Pfieffer, Lauren Schmitz and Brianna Slusher.
“With us, it is never about rebuilding, it is about reloading,” Owen said. “The eight seniors had great careers and accomplished all their goals throughout their careers. We won the league title and played in the district finals. I also looked forward to seeing the great things the underclassmen are going to do in the future.”
Troy sent a message early when Orban had a kill on the first point of the match.
MND would score the next seven points, but a kill by Pfieffer and service points by Orban and Jackson helped Troy get as close as 8-5 before MND pulled away for a 25-12 win.
“I thought our outsides (Lauren Schmitz, Kate Orban) really played well,” Owen said. “We had a plan and we executed it well. I thought we matched up pretty well, except for their 6-3 All-Ohio outside hitter (Carly Hendrickson). So, we decided the best thing to do would be hold our blocks. And I thought that worked pretty well. But, Mount Notre Dame is a really good team.”
Troy had even more success in the second set.
After MND took a 3-0 lead, Schmitz put Troy on the board with a kill.
Schmitz and Orban would add kills for sideouts and Slusher served two points on MND hitting errors and it was tied 9-9.
Anna Boezi added two kills and Slusher had one — and a Slusher service point closed the Troy deficit to 19-16.
“We got our middles going and they did a great job,” Owen said. “We spread the ball around and got everybody a lot of touches.”
MND would respond with a 6-1 run to close out the set.
The third set was more of the same.
Pfieffer had a kill to close Troy within 13-9.
But, MND would end the match with a 12-4 run.
“I thought we played well in streaks, but Mount Notre Dame is really good,” Owen said.
Orban would lead Troy with seven kills and Schmitz added six.
Boezi had two solo blocks and two assist blocks.
Jackson and Orban both served aces, Baber dished out 21 assists and Jackson led the defense with eight digs.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the seniors,” Owen said. “And I am excited about the future.”
As the Lady Trojans continue the high bar of excellence set by previous teams — and show as they did Saturday, they can compete with the best.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.