By Rob Kiser
Shelby Pitsenbarger’s goal was to rebuild the Edison Community College volleyball program as quickly as possible.
Given that — there were a lot of good things to see in Pitsenbarger’s debut as the Lady Chargers coach Saturday, with Edison leading late in the fifth set before losing to Miami University Hamilton 21-25, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19, 15-13.
“I was really pleased with how the girls played,” Pitsenbarger said. “It didn’t show up on the scoreboard in the end, but I thought the kids played well.”
Edison won the opening set, 25-21.
Kerri Meade had a kill on Allison Watkins serve to give Edison a 19-18 lead.
Briana Wells-Barnes put Edison in control at 23-19 with three straight points on serve, including a kill by Tasha Potts.
Potts added another kill to make it 24-20 and Edison closed the game out with another kill for a sideout.
An ace by Taylor Stover had given Edison a 9-5 lead in the second set and kills by Potts and Meade made it 10-6.
Rachel Foreman had a kill to put Edison in front 13-12, but the Lady Chargers were outscored 13-2 the rest of the set, as the Harriers evened the match.
A block by Mikaela Oyer to on Potts serve to start the third set put Edison up 1-0 and it the lead increased to 7-2 following three straight service winners by Taylor Bachman.
MUH rallied and Edison was trailing 21-19 when Pitsenbarger called time out.
Kills by Oyer and Kortney Phipps swung the momentum and finished the set off at 24-22, with Foreman drilling a kill on Bachman’s serve.
“The kids did a great job of responding in that situation,” Pitsenbarger said.
Edison trailed most of the fourth game and lost 25-19, forcing a fifth set to 15 to decide the match.
Potts and Bachman each served two points as Edison jumped in front 6-2, before MUH again rallied.
Wells-Barnes had three kills for sideouts and Oyer had a block to even things at 10.
With the Lady Chargers trailing 12-10, Meade had a big spike on a block to make it 11-12 and Meade served two points — aided by an Oyer kill — to put Edison in front 13-12.
However, MUH was able to answere with three straight points to end the match.
Oyer and Wells-Barnes had 10 kills each to lead the Chargers, while Phipps pounded eight.
Oyer added five solo blocks, while Meade, Wells-Barnes and Phipps had two each.
“We have some studs,” Pitsenbarger said. “Even our right sides hit the ball well today.”
Bachman led the defense with 30 digs and Potts added 20, while Wells-Barnes served three aces.
Edison will get back into action at the Owens Community College Tournament Friday and Saturday.
“I think the kids learned a lot today,” Pitsenbarger said. “I don’t think anybody is going to take us lightly.”
Which is the first step in a quick rebuild — and the Lady Chargers showed they are well on their way Saturday.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.