By Rob Kiser
VANDALIA — The Piqua volleyball team’s season came to an end Saturday in the Vandalia D-I sectionals at the SAC with a 25-23, 25-18, 24-26, 25-15 loss to Northmont.
And while the Indians closed the season at 13-10 and said goodbye to seniors Navie Garber, Savannah Hulme, Kelsey Magoteaux, Haley Michael, Emily Powell, Kelsey Peters and Lauren Williams, coach Liana Michael said there were a lot of positives during the season.
“It was kind of an up-and-down year,” Michael said. “But, the girls always left everything they had out on the floor.”
And Saturday was no exception, the Lady Indians just couldn’t quite get enough bounces go their way.
“I felt like every game was back-and-forth at the said,” Michael said. “We were never able to get a run of more than a point or two.”
The opening set was close from the start.
In fact, after two points on Garber’s serve, Piqua held a 22-21 lead.
But, the T-Bolts responded with four of the next five points to take the opening set.
Northmont, who had beaten Piqua earlier this season by winning the last three sets after dropping the first two, then took control midway through the second set.
A kill by Haley Michael on Lauren Williams serve had given Piqua a 12-10 lead.
Piqua was trailing just 17-16 before the Lady Indians serve receive broke down and Northmont scored eight of the final 10 points to go up two sets to none.
“We just really struggled with passing the ball tonight,” Michael said.
In the third set, two kills by Hulme and one each by Taylor Cavender, Garber and Tylah Yeomans helped Piqua take a 10-6 lead.
But, the T-Bolts rallied and seemed on the verge of finishing the match with a 24-22 lead.
But, Hulme had a kill and Michael served out the set with three points, including an ace and a kill by Yeomans to finish it.
“I think these girls play the best with the pressure on,” Michael said. “When it gets to point 24, that is when they play with a lot of energy. But, unfortunately that is not enough.”
In the fourth set, serve receive again contributed heavily to a 19-10 deficit that Piqua couldn’t recover from.
“Once we found out we were playing Northmont, we went over everything that we would see tonight,” Michael said. “The lobs and everything else. We were prepared, but it was just a struggle tonight.”
Yeomans had 13 kills, one block and 13 digs; while Michael had nine kills and two aces.
Hulme had eight kills, while Garber had two blocks and Cavender added one.
Williams dished out 36 assists and Magoteaux led the defense with 25 digs.
“I could never fault the effort of these kids,” Michael said.
And Saturday night was no exception.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.