By Rob Kiser
ARCANUM — Everyone on the Catholic Central volleyball team knew where the ball was going.
So did their bench and coaching staff.
For that matter, everyone in the Arcanum High School gym knew the ball was coming to Sidney Chapman.
But, stopping her with a sectional title — and her career on the line — in the fifth set Saturday in Arcanum D-IV sectional action — that was a different matter.
Chapman had a sideout to give Lehman a 14-11 lead, then put the nail in the Irish’s coffin with a kill on match point — the 39th of the match for the Lehman all-time kill leader — to finish off a 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 23-25, 15-12 win.
Lehman, 15-10, will play Russia in the Troy D-IV district finals Saturday. Russia defeated Southeastern 25-22, 23-25, 25-14, 25-23 in a Troy D-IV sectional final Saturday.
“It is a lot of pressure,” Chapman said. “But, I want the ball in those situations. I do (enjoy the challenge).”
And Lehman coach Greg Snipes couldn’t have been happier to see the ball in Chapman’s hands.
“We are always talking about wanting the ball — who wants the ball,” Snipes said. “And there is nobody who wants the ball more in that situation than Sidney (Chapman).”
A message Chapman isn’t hesitant to pass on to her teammates.
Especially after Lehman had let a 20-18 lead get away in the fourth set and a 10-5 lead in the fifth set had turned into a 10-10 tie with Chapman in the back row.
“I am always asking them who wants the ball — who is going to get the kill,” Chapman said.
As is Snipes.
When Lehman was up 10-5, Chapman was two rotations from being back in the front row.
“We were in great position, we just couldn’t put a ball away,” Snipes said.
That’s when Lauren Larger made her two biggest swings of the season — giving Lehman a 12-10 lead and putting Chapman in position to finish the match off.
“We have struggled with that, especially with Sidney (Chapman) in the back row,” Snipes said. “It was great to see Lauren (Larger) step up like that.”
After dropping the first set, Lehman turned things around to win sets two and three.
A big part of that was the offense of Ellie Scott and Abby Schutt.
“Ellie (Scott) has had some big matches for us this year and she did again today,” Snipes said. “Especially when Sidney (Chapman) was in the back row, she was our go-to girl tonight. With Abby (Schutt), it is just a matter of making her understand she can be a weapon out there. She did a great job running middle tonight.”
And Lehman was not to be denied.
Even after the Cavaliers lost leads late in the fourth set and midway through the fifth, the found a way to finish the job.
Along with her hitting, Chapman had three aces, while Scott had 12 kills, Schutt had 11, Malorie Hussey had six and Larger added five.
Lauren McFarland had 30 assists and Alexis Snipes dished out 27, while Madison Hussey added 15 digs.
And the win was validation for the Cavaliers, who had lost to Catholic Central the first week of the season.
“This team has come so far,” Chapman said.
And they are not done yet.
“Absolutely,” Chapman said with a smile about winning the district title. “We started a new streak last year and we want to keep it going. I am leaving (her senior year) with the streak still going.”
And she doesn’t care who knows it.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.