By Rob Kiser
It was a good start and a solid finish for the Piqua volleyball team Saturday at the Piqua Invitational.
The middle was a little rough, but the Indians won two of three matches to finish third in the eight-team tournament at Garbry Gymnasium.
After coasting past Meadowdale 25-5, 25-11; Piqua lost the semifinal match to Fairlawn 25-13, 25-8.
“We started out strong against Meadowdale, then went steadily downhill from there until the second set against Carroll,” Piqua coach Liana Michael said.
Piqua, 1-4, then rallied to win the final two sets of the day and knock off the Lady Pirates 20-25, 25-16, 25-21 in the third place match.
Piqua had gotten down 18-12 in the opening set against Carroll.
“We put up a fight way to late in the first set,” Michael said. “We turned it around in the second set.”
Lauren Williams jump started the Indians in set two with five straight points, including a kill by Ashley Ho.
Kills by Mikayla Schaffner and Tylah Yeomans made it 7-1 and Ho had another kill to make it 8-3,
Caroll would tied it with five straight points and Piqua was still leading just 15-13 when Lauren Williams served seven straight points — which included an ace, a kill by Mikayla Schaffner and a spike by Ho to make it 22-13.
Two kills by Ho and one by Yeomans finished the set off at 25-16.
“You never want to say someone jumps to high in volleyball, but there are times when she is blocking that Ashley Ho has the ball hit her elbows,” Michael said. “When she (Ashley Ho) can get a good read on a hitter and she is on with her blocking, she can take them out of the match.”
Piqua had to battle from behind in the decisive third set.
Trailing 17-12, Yeomans had a kill for a sideout and Mikayla Schaffner served four straight points, including an ace to tie it at 17.
“We needed that run,” Michael said.
With Piqua leading 20-19, Kelsey Magoteaux served two points, including an ace; and the Indians held on from there.
“The kids were able to come back and get the win against Carroll,” Michael said.
Magoteaux led the defense in that match with 49 digs, while Williams dished out 13 assists.
Yeomans had seven kills and Ho added three blocks, while Williams and Mikayla Schaffner both served two aces.
Against Meadowdale, Ho and Yeomans each had four kills, while Mikayla Schaffner served nine aces.
Williams had nine assists and Magoteaux had 12 digs.
Against Fairlawn, Ho had three kills and one block, while Ashley Brading added two kills and one block. Mikayla Schaffner served an ace, Macie Schaffner had four assists and Magoteaux had 29 digs.
Now, Piqua will continue a busy week.
The Lady Indians will host Stebbins Tuesday and Vandalia-Butler Thursday in GWOC North/South play before traveling to Sidney for a rare Friday night match.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.