By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
PIQUA — The Troy volleyball team came to Piqua looking to lock up a share of the Miami Valley League title — as well as a share of the Miami Division title.
Piqua volleyball was looking to play its best volleyball of the year.
Both Troy coach Michelle Owen and Piqua coach Jordan Drake felt like they got what they were looking for as Troy recorded a 25-16, 25-17, 25-8 victory.
Troy improved to 20-2 overall and finished 17-1 in the MVL while Piqua dropped to 10-12 overall and finish 8-10 in MVL play.
The first two sets were much closer than the 25-7, 25-9, 25-10 Troy win over Piqua earlier in the season.
“We were short three defensive specialists tonight, two do to illness,” Owen said. “So, we had some kids playing out of position and kids playing positions they had never played before. But, we came here to take care of business and get a share of the MVL title and we did that.”
For Piqua, Tylah Yeomans went over 900 career kills and Reagan Toopes moved into second place for single season digs.
“Tonight was the team I knew we could be all season,” Drake said. “It was exciting to see that. I was ecstatic with the way we played (the first two sets).”
In the opening set, Piqua was able to get within 10-9, before Troy opened an 18-10 lead.
Anna Boezi had a kill to put Troy up 20-15 and at 22-16, Ella Furlong served out the set, ending it with an ace.
In the second set, Piqua had taken a 7-4 lead before Troy repsponded with a 12-1 run to go in front 16-8.
“That rotation was a good rotation for us all night,” Owen said. “That has been a really strong rotation for us all year.”
Piqua got as close as 19-16 on two Troy hitting errors on Reagan Toopes serve.
Troy took a 22-17 lead on an ace by Kate Orban and finished off the set from there.
“You have to give Piqua credit,” Owen said. “They have really improved and played well tonight.”
In the third set, Troy jumped out to a 14-3 lead and Piqua was never able to recover.
“I thought we started controlling the ball at the net midway through the second set and in the third set,” Owen said. “And I felt like we served well all night.”
Brianna Slusher led Troy with 11 kills.
Kate Orban had eight kills and five aces, Carly Pfieffer had five kills, two solo blocks and two assist blocks and Lauren Schmitz added five kills and nine digs.
Morgan Baber had 29 assists and three aces and Ella Furlong had three aces and led the defense with 15 digs.
Yeomans had 12 kills for Piqua on the night.
Toopes led the defense with 19 digs.
Danielle Widney had two aces, while Audrey Poling had 10 assists and an ace. Kathy Young helped the defense with three digs.
Now, both teams head down the the tournament trail.
Troy received the second seed and will play the West Carrollton-Wayne winner at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Centerville High School.
“The biggest thing we need to do is get healthy,” Owen said. “Our goal is to get back to district and we got a great draw to be able to do that. Then, we will see about Mount Notre Dame (the two seed in the Cincinnati sectional).”
Piqua will open sectional play against Butler at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Centerville.
The Lady Indians own two wins over the Aviators this season — the first in four sets at Vandalia and the second in five sets at Piqua as the Lady Indians had a huge rally in the fifth set with Toopes at the service line.
“Butler pushed us in both matches,” Drake said. “We won both matches, but nothing came easy. It should be a great match.”
After both Troy and Piqua accomplished their goals in the regular season finale Thursday.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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