By Rob Kiser
The Piqua volleyball team’s schedule caught up with them.
And Lady Indians coach Liana Michael could see that from the start.
Playing for the fourth time is six days, the Lady Indians lost a battle of GWOC American North unbeatens to Tippecanoe Thursday at Garbry Gymnasium 25-16, 25-20, 25-17.
“You could see it looking at the girls,” Michael said. “This was our fourth match since Saturday and they were in school all day today. They just looked exhausted.”
At the same time, Tipp came out firing on all cylinders in every set.
Tipp had a nine-point run in the first set to lead 10-2 and increased it to 18-6.
In the second set, Tipp had an eight-point run to go up 11-3 and had a 7-2 run to make it 20-11.
In the final set, Tipp jumped out to leads of 12-4 and 18-8.
“I thought we battled back,” Michael said. “But, we just had ourselves in too big of a hole to comeback.”
In the early going, Piqua struggled with Tipp’s size advantage — both blocking and hitting into blocks.
But as the match went on, Piqua adjusted.
After trailing 22-9 in the opening set, Piqua had a 6-1 run.
While Tipp had some unforced errors in the run, Lauren Williams served an ace and Ashley Ho had a kill.
In the second set, Mikayla Schaffner had an early kill and Haley Michael had a kill and a block — to go with a Tylah Yeomans ace as Piqua cut an 11-4 deficit to 13-9.
But, Tipp was able to take control and two aces by Ashley Brading late and an ace by Williams were not enough to turn the tables.
In the third set, Schaffner had an early kill.
Yeomans stopped a five=point run with a kill and Michael stopped a four-point run with a kill.
Savannah Hulme had three kills late and Yeomans added two, but it was not enough.
“I thought we did adjust after the start,” Michael said. “But, it was just not enough. You have to be able to learn from your losses. So, we will get to work in practice and fix what needs fixed.”
Yeomans led the hitters with seven kills, while Ho and Michael both had two blocks. Williams dished out nine assists, while Macie Schaffner added six.
Kelsey Magoteaux led the defense with 18 digs.
Piqua, 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the American North, is off until Sidney visits Tuesday.
In the double round-robin format, Piqua will play at Tipp later this season.
“We will look to come back and get two league wins next week,” Michael said. “Hopefully, we can show Tipp something when we play them in their gym.”
And come back with renewed energy after a break in the schedule.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.