By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
CENTERVILLE — It was a fitting end to an amazing career.
Piqua senior Tylah Yeomans saved her best for last.
And while it wasn’t enough for a third win over Vandalia-Butler — the Lady Indians lost 25-15, 18-25, 25-21, 25-21 to the Aviators in D-I sectional action to end the season at 10-13 after sweeping the Aviators during the season — Yeomans left everything out there on the floor and gave her teammates, coaches and fans something to remember.
Late in the third set, with Piqua trailing 21-19 — Yeomans did what she has done for four years.
She went up for a back row kill on her own serve and when the ball hit the floor, history was made.
That was kill 926 of her career — she would finish with 931 — and broke Brooke Reinke’s school record.
“I really didn’t know what happened,” Yeomans said as her teammates erupted and Piqua coach Jordan Drake called a timeout to allow for a celebration. “Then, I saw my teammates going crazy and I realized what had happened. I didn’t know I was that close.”
Less than a minute after the record had been broke, the Reinke family sent a text saying that Brooke wanted to make sure to congratulate Yeomans for her after the match.
“That means a lot,” Yeomans said.
“That is amazing,” Drake said. “That just shows you the kind of family Piqua volleyball is.”
Yeomans never anticipated being in this situation when she began her career at Piqua.
“I only had 113 kills my freshman year,” she said. “So, I never really thought about the record.”
But, she followed that with 258 kills as a sophomore, 260 as a junior and 300 this season, just 25 short of Reinke’s single-season record.
“After my junior year, I probably started thinking about it,” Yeomans said. “But, I didn’t realize I was getting this close.”
And she knows she didn’t do it on her own.
“I am very thankful for all my teammates and coaches,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”
On Tuesday, she had a career-high 21 kills.
“That is just amazing,” Drake said about having 21 kills in a match,” Drake said. “She has been an amazing player.”
The perfect ending would have been a five-set rally to beat Butler — as the Indians did in the previous meeting.
But, it never came.
“We had two goals tonight,” Drake said about winning and Yeomans getting the record. “We got one of them.”
And it looked like there might be some more Piqua magic late in the fourth set.
With Piqua trailing 22-16, Yeomans had a tip for a sideout — sending Aubree Schrubb to the service line.
The sophomore had been a weapon for Piqua all night —filling out the stat sheet with six kills, three blocks, five aces and 16 digs.
“Not to take anything away from T (Tylah Yeomans),” Drake said. “But, Aubree (Schrubb) played her butt off tonight. She had a great match.”
She came through with back-to-back aces and Yeomans added a kill to get Piqua within 22-20.
But, Butler was able to scoree three of the final four points to advance and earn a matchup with top seed Centerville.
After dropping the first set, Piqua was in control much of the second set.
Yeomans had a kill to give Piqua a 19-15 lead.
On Reagan Toopes serve, Schrubb and Yeomans had kills and Toopes serve an ace to make it 22-15.
Two Butler hitting errors and a kill by Yeomans at 24-18 evened the match.
Piqua led early in the third an fourth sets, but Butler was able to win both sets and finish the match.
“I think the big thing tonight was our hitters,” Drake said. “We had trouble hitting the ball in.”
It was the final match for Yeomans, Audrey Poling, Danielle Widney and Kathy Young.
Widney had fouls kills and Sydnee Hawk had a block.
Toopes also had 16 digs for the defense, while Cara Reed added seven and Poling served five aces.
“I don’t feel like 10-13 is reflective of how we played,” Drake said. “I think we showed how good we can be during the season — and how good we will be in the future.”
And Yeomans will continue to impact the program into the future.
“For sure, she is a great player for our younger players to be around,” Drake said. “She is a great role model.”
And it was fitting that “T” went out in style on a record night.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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