TROY — Slow starts and fast finishes have been the norm for Russia this season. When Southeastern made a push in the first set of a Division IV district final match on Saturday at Troy’s Trojan Activities Center, sophomore outside hitter Ashley Scott said the Raiders weren’t flustered.
“We’ve started off slow before, but once we started communicating more, we started getting our passes up, and the offense fell into place,” Scott said.
Russia finished the first set on a 10-4 run and cruised from there to a 25-18, 25-14, 25-16 victory to claim its second consecutive district title. It’s the first time since the mid-1970’s that the Raiders (20-6) have won consecutive district titles.
“Big accomplishment,” Russia coach Aaron Watkins said. “This was a goal for the girls from the get-go. But now we want to get that next game. That’s the ultimate goal.”
That next game is a regional semifinal on Thursday at Northmont’s Thunderdome against Shelby County Athletic League rival Jackson Center. The two squads split a pair of five-set matches against each other in regular season.
“We’ve got to be really disciplined,” Watkins said. “We’ve really talked about that the last couple of weeks. Do all the little things right, get your serves in, be smart hitting, read hitters well. We just have to put it all together.”
Ashley Scott and senior outside hitter middle hitter Morgan Wenrick each led Russia with 10 kills while Laurissa Poling had nine and senior Samantha Gaerke had six.
Libero Kendall Monnin led Russia with 14 digs and setter Jenna Cordonnier had 32 assists and eight digs.
fall to Skins
TROY — The Lehman Catholic volleyball team ran into a buzzsaw Saturday, losing 25-20, 25-17, 25-19 to For Loramie Saturday in a D-IV district final at Troy.
Loramie improved to 14-12 and Lehman finished 17-9.
Lehman led first set 18-17, before Loramie finished the set on a 7-2 run.
In the second set, Lehman couldn’t hold a 9-4 lead.
In the third set, Lehman got down early, got back within 19-17 and Loramie finished the match with a 6-2.
“You have to give them credit,” Lehman coach Greg Snipes said about Fort Loramie. “I thought they played a great match. They focused on Olivia (Lucia) and we knew they would. I thought we started slow the first set, then were even at 17. The second set, we got off to a great start, then we started making a bunch of mistakes. We were able to slow them down at times, but they just played really well.”
Laruen McFarland led Lehman with eight kills.
Resse Geise and Olivia Lucia both had six kills, while Alexis Snipes dished out 22 assists.
cruise to win
CLAYTON — Eight in a row.
On Saturday night, the Miami East volleyball team swept the Williamsburg Wildcats in three sets, by scores of 25-11, 25-18 and 25-20 to win the Division III district title at Northmont High School and earn a trip to the regional tournament for the eighth straight year.
Miami East advances to play Versailles in the regional semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Trent Arena.
“It’s a good thing for us, we’re excited,” Miami East head coach Dan Peterson said. “That’s our eighth straight, and I think a lot of people didn’t expect us to be here at this point in the season coming into it, so we’re excited.”
The streak has become one of great notoriety in the area, and it also serves as motivation for the Vikings to live up to the successes of years past.
“We had our foundation laid a while ago with some of the players we’ve had come through, and it has continued with every year since then,” Peterson said. “Our players take a lot of pride in that too, because they obviously don’t want to be the ones to break that streak. It scares the crap out of me sometimes, too. I don’t want it to happen on my watch.”
Now, they face the Tigers, who beat East in five sets in the regional finals last year on the way to winning the state title.
CLAYTON — The Versailles volleyball team got past Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in four sets Saturday in the Northmont D-III district finals.
The defending state champions will play Miami East at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Trent Arena in a regional semifinal.