KETTERING — One year later, the Miami East volleyball team is back in the Division III state tournament, right where it wanted to be.
But the Vikings don’t want to stop there.
Miami East swept Utica in three games during Saturday’s D-III regional championship at Fairmont’s Trent Arena, winning 25-19, 25-17, 28-26 to advance to the state semifinal round for the second consecutive season.
“I told the girls that they’ve got a day and a half to celebrate, then we’ll be right back at it on Monday,” Miami East coach Dan Peterson said. “It was a bit more subdued celebration even today after the win than it was last year.
“We’re not satisfied with just making it there this time. This year, we want to win it all.”
Miami East trailed 24-19 in the third set on Saturday, but Carly Gump served five straight points to give the advantage back to the Vikings and help close out the sweep.
“We had Carly come in to serve, and I said if I had anyone serving in that situation, I’d want it to be her,” Peterson said. “She’s consistent, and she served up five straight right where we wanted them and allowed our defense to set up. We got some blocks and touches to slow things down thanks to that and were able to come back.
“We scouted (Utica) Thursday, and we felt good about this matchup. Still, they were a very scrappy team.”
Jonni Parker led the Vikings with 26 kills, 11 assists, five aces and 11 digs, Kyndall Hellyer had nine kills, 24 assists, three aces, four digs and a block and Reagan Morrett had four kills, two digs and two blocks. Lydia Conley had three blocks, Jillian Wesco had four digs, Sophie Jacomet had two assists, two aces and 10 digs, Gump had an ace and a dig, Kaitlyn Mack had an ace and four digs and Gabrielle Hawkins had four digs.
Miami East will play Gilmour Academy in the state semifinal round at 6 p.m. Friday at the Nutter Center.