CASSTOWN — It should have come as no surprise that it came down to five sets. Miami East and Lehman Catholic’s volleyball teams both have aspirations to go far down the tournament trail.
And understandably so.
East is 13-8 and the top seed in the D-III sectional, while Lehman is 17-4 and the No. 2 seed in the D-IV sectional.
In a nonconference matchup on Monday, the visiting Cavaliers were able to use a big service run by Lauren McFarland in the fifth set set to hold on for a 25-20, 25-18, 17-25, 20-25, 15-10 victory.
While Miami East coach Dan Peterson declined comment, Lehman coach Carolyn Dammeyer was excited to get the win.
“We needed this,” Dammeyer said. “Now it is on to the tournament.”
After Miami East had erased Lehman’s momentum by winning the third and fourth sets and taking a 3-0 lead in the race to 15 with Gretchen Frock at the service line — Lehman stunned East with nine straight points and the Vikings could never recover.
Olivia Lucia had a tip for sideout to send Lauren McFarland to the service line.
McFarland, who like Miami East’s Sophie Jacomet went over 1,000 career digs on the night, served eight straight points with Lucia recording a block, a tip and combining with Reese Geise for a block and suddenly Lehman led 9-3.
“She is our best server,” Dammeyer said of McFarland. “I think Miami East kind of took us out of our offense (in the third and fourth sets), but Oliva and Reese stepped up.”
East could get no closer than four points and it ended at 14-10 when the Vikings could not return Lehman’s serve.
“I thought we really played well in the fifth set,” Dammeyer said.
Lehman had started the match fast, leading 5-0 in the first set, with McFarland serving two aces. East came all the way back to tie it 13-13 on a kill by Sierra Kinnison. The Vikings had a 19-18 lead before Lehman outpointed them 7-1 to finish the set. The final three points came with Pyper Sharkins at the service line, with one coming on a McFarland kill.
The second set was similar to the first. East was within 19-16, before Lehman pulled away. McFarland had kill to put Lehman up 24-18 and the Vikings return of Caroline Wesner’s serve was wide to give Lehman a 2-0 lead.
But, Miami East quickly turned things around.
In the third set, East opener a 16-9 lead and held on from there. Jacomet had a kill to give the Vikings a 24-17 lead and East finished things on a Gabrielle Hawkins serve. The Vikings jumped out to a 15-7 lead in set four and Lehman could not catch up.
Jacomet had consecutive kills to give East a 23-17 lead and Jacomet serve and ace at 24-20 to finish off the set and set up the race to 15.
“I thought Miami East served a lot tougher and took us out of our offense in the third and fourth sets,” Dammeyer said.
Lucia had 13 kills, four solo blocks, five assist blocks and 14 digs; while Geise had 12 kills, one solo blocks and four assist blocks. Abby Schutt added two solo blocks and 19 digs. Wesner dished out 25 assists, while McFarland served seven aces and led the defense with 19 digs. Heidi Schutt had 15 digs and Larkins added 11.
Lehman will close the regular season by hosting Waynesfield-Goshen Thursday, while East will travel to Covington.
Before both teams begin what they hope will be long tournament runs.
Anna 3, Russia 1
The Rockets earned a 19-25, 25-23, 25-21, 27-25 Shelby County Athletic League victory on Monday in Anna.
Macy Wiktorowski led Anna with 19 kills while Lauren Barhorst had 14 and Madison Roe had eight. Mary Landis had 38 assists. Wiktorowski had a team-high 23 digs while Emily Bertke had 18 and Liz Michael had 12. Madison Roe had three solo blocks while Natasha York had three block assists.
Ashley Scott led the Raiders with 20 kills while Jessica York had 17, Kate Sherman had 10 and Cece Borchers had eight. Baily Pohlman had three kills and three blocks. Miah Monnin had 45 assists. Kendall Monnin led the squad with 23 digs while Scott had 21 and York had 10.
Franklin-Monroe 3, Houston 1
The Wildcats lost a nonconference match 25-21, 25-10, 16-25, 25-17 on Monday in Pitsburg.
Houston sophomore libero Megan Maier broke Houston’s single-season record by recording her 345 dig in the second game.
“She’s very humble,” Houston coach Misty Gibson said. “She’s told me many times, ‘I’d give up all my digs to win a district title.’ She’s a team player and puts in the hard work. She puts in the hard work after practices and goes in the weight room without anyone telling her to. She’s just that kind of player.”
Mackenzie Wenrick led the Wildcats with nine kills while Catryn Mohler had four. Maier had 17 digs, Allisen Foster had 10 digs and Bri Kemp and Mariah Booher each had eight. Foster had three aces, one block and two kills.
• Girls soccer
Sidney 3, Tippecanoe 0
The Yellow Jackets stayed atop the Miami Valley League Valley Division on Monday by handing Tippecanoe its first league loss of the year on Monday in Sidney.
Khia McMillen, Lexee Brewer and Lainie Fair each scored one goal. MaKayla Dillinger had one assist while Kyah Vondenhuevel had two. Goalkeeper MaKayla Hurey had three saves in the victory.
Sidney (7-6-2) is 5-2-1 in MVL play and is in first place in the Valley Division while Fairborn is in second at 4-2-2. The Yellow Jackets can clinch the outright Valley Division title with a win over Greenville on Wednesday.
Sidney Daily Sports sports editor Bryant Billing contributed to this article. Billing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.