SIDNEY — It took five sets before Lehman Catholic emerged with a 20-25, 25-22, 25-15, 19-25, 15-10 win over Miami East on Monday.
Miami East dropped to 13-8, while Lehman improved to 12-8. Between them, the two programs have combined for 11 state tournament appearances and six state titles.
“We put them on the schedule a number of years ago,” Lehman coach Greg Snipes said about it being good for both teams headed into postseason play. “You always want to play strong competition. Both these programs have played at a high level for a number of years.”
And in the race to 15 in the fifth set, it was Lehman who had the final pivotal momentum swing of the night.
After a kill by Lehman’s Olivia Lucia tied the match at 9-9, Lauren McFarland stepped to the service line and instantly fired two aces — and added one more point to give Lehman a 12-9 lead.
“Lauren (McFarland) is our best server any way,” Snipes said. “She took them out of their serve receive with those two serves.”
And it was a deficit East could not overcome.
The Vikings cut it to 12-10 on a net serve, but Resse Geise had a kill, followed by two kills from Lucia on Abby Schutt’s serve to finish off the match.
Miami East had led throughout the first set and won 25-20.
Lehman had taken a 20-16 lead in the second set. But Gretchen Frock served four straight points for East and Ashlyn Monnin’s kill put the Vikings in front 21-20.
The Vikings couldn’t hold on, though. Lucia had a block and a kill and Madison Kirtley and McFarland added kills as Lehman went on a 5-1 run to close the set.
Lucia began to take control at the net in the third set, as Lehman continued the momentum and rolled to a 25-15 win.
“We missed seven serves in the first set,” Snipes said. “We started to play better in the second set. In the third set, we were really playing some good volleyball and that’s what we told the kids before the fourth set.”
Lehman again struggled to hit serves in the fourth set and when Sophie Jacomet had two serves including an ace, the Vikings led 16-8.
“Miami East did a good job taking us out of serve receive and we made a lot of mistakes,” Snipes said.
Lehman got as close as 20-18 on two more McFarland aces and a Kirtley kill.
But, a kill by Lydia Conley for sideout gave East a 23-19 lead and Frock served out the set.
The match remained even until McFarland’s run at the service line in the fifth set gave Lehman the advantage they would not relinquish.
“We did a nice job coming back in the fourth set,” Miami East coach Dan Peterson said. “Especially after losing the third set 25-15. There have been times this season when we have left the fourth set go after losing a third set like that. That didn’t happen tonight. The kids gave a great effort. The effort is not an issue.”
For Lehman, Alexis Snipes dished out 51 assists, while Lucia had a huge match with 31 kills and nine blocks.
McFarland had 10 kills, five aces and 21 digs while Reese Geise had seven kills and Abby Schutt and Malorie Hussey had five kills each.
Franklin-Monroe 3, Houston 0
The Wildcats lost a nonconference match 25-16, 25-14, 25-11 on Monday.
Mackenzie Wenrick had five kills while Hayden Riesenbeck, Alyssa Kemp and Catryn Mohler each had two kills for Houston. Kemp had 15 assists, Mohler had six digs and Olivia Bowser had five digs.
New Knoxville 3, Lincolnview 1
Lincolnview won the first set of a nonconference match 25-21 on Monday, but the Rangers won the second 25-14, third 25-16 and fourth 25-10 to close out a win on the road.
Tasia Lauth had 19 kills while Avery Henschen had 12. Tayler Doty had seven kills and 24 digs, Erin Scott had 30 digs and Carly Fledderjohann had 50 assists.
St. Marys 2, Sidney 0
The Yellow Jackets lost a road nonconference match on Monday.
Goalkeeper Trey Werntz had 24 saves.
“We did not play our best soccer tonight,” Sidney coach Jamie Fridley said. “We came out in the first half sluggish and attacking the ball. The second half was a little better, we did have some opportunities but again could not find the back of the net.”
New Knoxville 5, Van Wert 1
The Rangers won a road nonconference match on Monday. They scored two goals in the first half and three in the second half.
Zach Davis, Jose Maria Rabadan, Joseph Baende, and Carson Bierlein each scored one goal for New Knoxville. Bierlein and Patrick Covert each had an assist.
Lehman Catholic 0, Troy Christian 0
Lehman goalkeeper Hannah Giguere posted her seventh shutout of the season in the tie.
Centerville 2, Sidney 1
No information was reported.
Jackson Center 3, Versailles 2
Raquel Kessler led Jackson Center with 27 kills and 14 digs in the Tigers’ nonconference victory on Saturday. Kate Sosby had 11 digs, Elizabeth Hickey had six kills and Sarah Clark had five kills. Caroline Frieders had 35 assists, 12 digs and six kills.
Sidney Daily News sports editor Bryant Billing contributed to this article. Billing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.