SIDNEY — Sidney’s goal of earning a Miami Valley League Valley Division championship is almost complete. The Yellow Jackets are hoping to finish off the goal — and make a tournament run — in October.
Sidney improved to 9-9 overall and 9-5 in MVL Valley Division play with a 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-17 win over Xenia on Wednesday at Sidney Middle School. The squad has a three-game lead over Fairborn (10-8, 6-8) in Valley Division standings with four matches left to play.
“We’ve been waiting to show everybody what these girls have,” first-year coach Dexter Tobie said. “I think it’s been a rollercoaster here and there. There’s a couple of losses where we just weren’t there mentally. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not competitive.”
The squad won the inaugural Valley Division title in 2019 (which was the program’s first league title of any kind since 1988) but finished fourth and third, respectively, in the division the last two years and won nine matches total.
It’s been a team effort for the squad to return to the top of the Valley Division. Five players have 70 or more kills and four have 19 or more blocks.
“In every position, we have a couple of girls that are stepping up to the plate,” Tobie said. “Sometimes, we have a little bit of a slack. But overall, once we get everybody rolling, we do great.”
It’s been a team effort on the front line.
Junior outside hitter Kyla Rush has made a team-high 141 kills and 211 digs. Freshman outside hitter Kalesha Rush has 71 kills to her credit.
Senior middle blocker Anna Brady has made 86 kills and a team-high 31 blocks. Senior outside hitter Allie Stockton has made 96 kills and 19 blocks and junior middle blocker/right-side hitter Shelbie Miller has made 73 kills and 22 blocks. Junior right-side hitter Hailey Richardson has 45 kills and 22 blocks to her credit.
“One of our solid combos has been Anna Brady and Hailey,” Tobie said. “That duo together has been great. They have great communication. Allie Stockton and Shelbie Miller also bring a good, solid block.
“… We’re a lot better defensively. Our blocking has gotten a lot better. There’s still a couple of things we need to do in the back row. But overall, our aggressiveness and thinking outside the box and not doing the same basic things has really helped us out. Overall, I think team chemistry has gotten better.”
Senior defensive specialist Kennah Herrick ranks second with 205 digs to her credit. She played libero for most of the season, but junior Kaelin Hickman has played the position recently. Hickman had a team-high 20 digs on Wednesday.
Freshman setter Alena Swearingen leads the team with 292 assists while senior setter Macie Brautigam has 145. Swearingen has made a team-high 44 aces, while Hickman has made 28.
The squad will likely wrap up the divisional title next week. Sidney is scheduled to travel to Troy (12-4, 12-1 MVL Miami) on Tuesday and to West Carrollton (4-11, 3-11 MVL Valley) on Thursday, while Fairborn has matches against Tippecanoe (15-1, 14-0 MVL Miami) and Vandalia-Butler (11-6, 10-4).
Tournament play will begin starting Oct. 18. Sidney will try to make a run after losing in first-round matches the last two years.
“I think teams shouldn’t overlook us,” Tobie said.
Russia’s Monnin gets 3,000th career assist, ranks in top 7 in state history
Russia senior setter Miah Monnin surpassed 3,000 career assists on Saturday and is only the eighth person in Ohio High School Athletic Association history to do so.
Monnin, a four-year starter, surpassed the milestone in a 25-19, 25-21, 27-25 victory over Whitehouse Anthony Wayne on Saturday in Russia. She had 31 assists in the win and now has 3,043 career assists to her credit. Through her career, she has averaged 9.3 assists per set.
Monnin leads Shelby County Athletic League players with 551 assists this season.
Saturday’s match was the Raiders’ last nonconference match this season. The squad improved to 14-4 overall and 9-0 in SCAL play with a 3-0 win over Houston on Tuesday.
Monnin ranks seventh all-time in career assists according to OHSAA records. She surpassed Lehman Catholic graduate Emilee Seger, who finished with 3,013 career assists between 2003 and 2006, in Tuesday’s win.
Monnin is three assists short of surpassing recent Tiffin Calvert graduate Emma White for sixth place on the all-time list. Kelsie Zumberger, a 2009 Anna graduate, amassed 3,496 career assists and ranks fourth all time.
Russia is scheduled to host Anna this Tuesday and travel to Botkins on Thursday before hosting Fort Loramie (12-4, 8-1) in what could be the defacto SCAL championship match on Oct. 11.
Anna’s Cobb gets 1,000th career assist
Anna senior setter Brenna Cobb surpassed 1,000 career assists in a 25-22, 25-20, 20-25, 25-19 win over Fairlawn on Tuesday. Cobb, a three-year starter, has 1,040 career assists following a 3-1 win over Houston on Thursday.
Anna (8-10, 5-5) is in fourth place in SCAL standings, one game behind Jackson Center (11-6, 6-4).
Lehman Catholic tied for 3rd in TRC
The Cavaliers suffered two Three Rivers Conference losses this week and are now tied for third in league standings.
Lehman lost 25-22, 25-13, 25-18 to league leader Miami East on Tuesday, then lost 24-26, 25-19, 25-21, 25-20 to Bethel on Thursday. Both matches were on the road.
The Cavaliers (8-9, 6-4 TRC) are tied with Bethel (10-6, 6-4) for third place in the conference. Miami East (11-2, 9-0) is undefeated; Covington (11-3, 9-1) is also in contention.
Riverside (5-11, 4-5) is in fifth place. The Pirates are scheduled to travel to Lehman on Tuesday.
Russia 5th in state coaches association poll
Russia is up to fifth in Division IV this week’s Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association state polls.
Fort Loramie is ranked ninth and Jackson Center is ranked 18th.
Marion Local and New Bremen continue to be ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively.
Versailles (12-3) is ranked second in Division III.
Tournament draw next week
Tournament draw meetings across Ohio are scheduled to take place next Sunday.
Voting for seeding for each sectional will be conducted online by coaches this week. Coaches will place themselves on brackets by seed order in next Sunday’s meeting.
Area Division IV squads will play in sectionals at Arcanum or Troy High School. District finals are scheduled to take place on Oct. 29 at Troy.
Area Division III squads will play all sectionals at Brookville High School. Sidney, the area’s lone D-I squad, will play its sectional matches at Centerville or Vandalia-Butler.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.