By Rob Kiser
TROY — The Lehman Catholic volleyball team was facing a monumental task Wednesday in a Troy D-IV regional semifinal against the defending state champion and unbeaten Jackson Center Tigers.
And while the Lady Cavaliers came up short 25-15, 25-14, 25-12, it didn’t change what Lehman had accomplished this season.
“Our season is not going to be measure by our match tonight,” Greg Snipes said after the Cavaliers closed the campaign at 16-11. “We started off the season 2-7. To turn it around and win some big matches late in the year and win a sectional and district title and make it to the regional in one of the toughest regionals in the state, we really did (overcome a lot).”
It was the final match for Lehman’s single season and career kills leader Sidney Chapman, along with Madison Hussey, Camille Odle and Lindsey Elsner.
The good news is the Cavaliers had a number of talented, young players getting experience this season.
“We are really going to miss Sidney (Chapman),” Greg Snipes said. “From the time she was a freshman, she brought it every time she took the floor. You couldn’t ask any more. The good thing about that is it was a great example for our young players to see every day in practice.”
Lehman got in a 10-3 hole in the opening set, before battling back to within 11-7.
There was three -point run on Madison Hussey’s serve including an ace, a kill by Ellie Scott and a block by Abby Schutt.
Four kills by Sidney Chapman and an ace by Alexis Snipes helped Lehman close within 22-15, before the Tigers scored three straight points to end the set.
“We got off to a bad start,” Snipes said. “And it wasn’t like they (Jackson Center) were doing anything spectacular. We just weren’t finishing on plays. Then, we battled back twice.”
In the second set, Chapman had two early kills as Lehman jumped out to leads 4-1 and 5-2.
On Schutt’s serve, Malorie Hussey had a block and Schutt had an ace.
“We got off to a great start and we were in a really good rotation,” Snipes said. “Then, they have a five or six point run and went up 7-5.”
Lehman got as close as 12-10 after a kill by Schutt for sideout and a Snipes kill on Lauren McFarland’s serve.
But, Jackson Center would pull away for a 25-14 win and take the fifth game 25-12.
“When you are playing an outstanding team like Jackson Center, you can’t make some of the mistakes we were making,” Snipes said.
Chapman had another big match with 17 kills, while Scott and Lauren Larger had two each.
Lauren McFarland dished out 11 assists and Snipes had eight, while Hussey led the defense with 15 digs.
And in the end, Snipes knew it wasn’t about the final destination, but the journey that got them there.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.