TROY — Russia earned another trip to the Division IV district finals and will try to earn a championship on Saturday.
The Raiders beat Cedarville 25-20, 25-16 and 25-16 on Wednesday in a sectional final at Troy’s Trojan Activities Center. Jackson Center earned a four-set victory over Spingfield Emmanuel Christian to earn a D-IV district final berth.
Russia, which lost to Lehman Catholic in the districts last year, started slow against Cedarville and trailed 13-10 in the first set. The Raiders scored nine of the next 12 points to take control and then jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the second set and cruised.
“We had a slow warm-up,” Russia coach Aaron Watkins said of the team’s slow start. “We were the first ones here and it was actually really cold in here, so the girls were just stiff.”
Cedarville jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the third set, but the Raiders scored six of the next seven and cruised from there.
“I just told them to stay aggressive,” Watkins said. “I thought we were getting a little lax, kind of comfortable with our lead. I just reminded them to stay aggressive at the net and to put the ball away.”
Laurissa Poling had 18 kills to lead Russia’s offense, while Ashley Scott had eight and Morgan Wenrick had six. Jenna Cordonnier had 31 assists, Whitney Pleiman had 23 digs and Poling and Lexi Monnin each had seven digs.
Jackson Center beat Emmanuel 25-9 and 25-18 in the first two sets. The Tigers had a 15-13 lead in the third set, but Emmanuel went on an 11-3 run to take control.
The teams had a 5-5 tie early in the fourth set, but Jackson Center pulled out to a 17-13 lead and held on for a 25-22 win.
Both Russia and Jackson Center’s D-IV district finals will be Saturday at Troy.
More about both matches and Wednesday’s other area volleyball sectional finals will be published on Thursday afternoon on sidneydailynews.com and available in Friday’s print edition.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.