By Rob Kiser
COVINGTON — In a volleyball program with the tradition of Lehman Catholic’s, just winning a couple tournament games isn’t enough.
So, as the Cavaliers started down the Division IV tourney trail by getting past a scrappy Ansonia team 25-11, 25-15, 25-13 Monday night at Covington, it was just the beginning.
Lehman, 15-8, will play 24th seed Botkins at 11 a.m. Saturday in second-round action.
And last year’s sectional final loss to Riverside hasn’t been forgotten.
“I am sure (that is motivation),” Lehman coach Greg Snipes said. “A lot of these girls have been starting for two or three years. They want this to be a special year and want to make it happen.”
And that loss to Riverside has been avenged already.
“Definitely,” junior outside hitter Lauren McFarland said. “When we played them this year, we beat them pretty easily.”
And don’t be fooled by Lehman’s record — the Cavaliers play as strong a schedule as any D-IV team.
“I think so,” McFarland said. “It is hard (not to look ahead), but we have played some teams like Ansonia during the year.”
And after a quick 25-11 win in set one, Lehman found itself in a battle early in the second set.
The Cavaliers were leading just 7-6 when Abby Schutt had a tip for a kill.
With McFarland serving, Reese Geise had a kill and Malorie Hussey had a tip to make 10-6.
Hussey had a kill for sideout at 11-7, then Abby Schutt served three straight points — with two service winners and a kill by McFarland.
McFarland had three kills down the stretch and Hussey had kills for the final two points in a 25-15 win.
The serving of Geise and Olivia Lucia — combined with Alexis Snipes’ setting and the hitting of McFarland, Lucia and Abby Schutt — allowed Lehman to jump out 11-3 in the third set and Lucia finished things off with an ace at 25-13.
“Our schedule has prepared us (for a tournament run),” Greg Snipes said. “But, we have had some letdowns in matches during the season. “I didn’t feel like we were as focused as we could have been, but our serve receive and defense really got us going in this match.”
McFarland led a balanced attack, pounding 12 kills.
Lucia had eight kills, while Abby Schutt, Geise and Hussey all had six kills.
Snipes dished out 36 assists and Geise served three aces.
Now, comes a match with Botkins on Saturday — in the next step of what the Lady Cavaliers hope to be a long tournament run.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.