By Rob Kiser
“We like to make things interesting don’t we,” Piqua volleyball coach Liana Michael said with a smile after the Lady Indians 25-17, 28-26 loss to Greenville in the championship match of the Piqua Invitational Saturday.
And interesting is a good way to describe the Lady Indians 5-9 season heading into Tuesday’s match with Stebbins.
The Piqua lineup includes freshman Cara Reed, Reagan Toopes, Aubree Schrubb and Sydnee Hawk — and the Lady Indians have only three seniors (Kamy Trissell, Kylie Trissell and Haleigh Beougher).
“When you are going against upperclassmen — and not even just that, just kids who have been out there before,” Michael said. “We have one girl (Tylah Yeomans) who was a regular and a several girls that have been out there before. And you are playing four freshman, it has been interesting. They are fun to watch.”
In the first set against Greenville, the Lady Indians fell in a hole early and didn’t score a point on serve until Reed’s kill on Yeomans serve got the Lady Indians to within 16-10.
Piqua got as close as 23-17 before Greenville put the set away.
But, the second set was a role reversal as Piqua got off to a fast start.
Yeomans had two kills on Danielle Widney’s serve as Piqua opened a 6-3 lead.
A kill by Hawk and spike by Schrubb on Yeomans serve increased the margin to 9-5.
Beougher had a kill on Kylie Trissell’s serve as the lead increased to 13-6 and it reached 16-8 when Toopes served two points on Greenville hitting errors.
“What has hurt us all season is we get behind and we are worried about what we can do to pick things up,” Michael said. “Today was just the opposite. Which is a good thing.”
But, just as quickly, Greenville cut the lead to 18-17.
“We were pumped up and playing well,” Michael said. ‘All of a sudden, the gym got really loud. You could see the kids shaking with excitement.”
Still, Yeomans stopped the run with a kill and combined with Schrubb on a block. Reed’s attack gave Piqua a 24-22 lead and two set points.
But, Greenville scored three straight points to go up 25-24 and had three match points before finally serving an ace at 27-26 to end it.
“We are still working on what you need to do in those big moments,” Michael said. “But, we played Greenville much better than we did over there (in a GWOC North match, which Piqua lost in four sets).”
Yeomans had seven kills, one block, 10 assists and five digs; while Schrubb had three kills and one block ad Reed had three kills.
Beougher had one block, while Audrey Poling dished eight assists.
Toopes had 12 digs and Kamy Trissell added five.
Piqua had begun the day by cruising past Meadowdale 25-9, 25-6.
Toopes had four aces and five digs, while Poling and Jaylynne Roberts both serve four aces.
Piqua rallied to beat Springfield in the semifinals 22-25, 25-18, 25-15.
Fairlawn finished third in the tournament, Springfield was fourth, Emmanuel Christian was fifth, Carroll sixth, Bellefontaine seventh and Meadowdale eighth.
“We lost that first set against Springfield and I thought, not gain,” Michael said. “But, we had some leadership that stepped up. That was good to see.”
Yeomans had four aces, 17 assists and 13 kills, while Reed had six kills, Hawk added five and Schrubb had a block.
Poling dished out nine assists, while Toopes led the defense with 18 digs.
Kamy Trissell had 15 digs and Kylie Trissell added nine.
“I feel like every time we step on the floor, whether it is a match or practice, we are leading something,” Michael said.
And it is always interesting.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.