FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie’s volleyball team has had an up-and-down season but is hoping there are more ups than downs in the second half. Thursday may have been a first step toward that goal.
The Redskins beat Russia 25-15, 25-23 and 25-20 to regain a share of first place in the Shelby County Athletic League after losing to Jackson Center on Tuesday. Loramie and Russia are tied for first with 5-1 league records, while Anna and Jackson Center are tied for second with 4-2 records.
While Loramie has been among the best in league play, they’ve struggled in nonconference games and are 7-6 overall. The Redskins had lost three of their last four matches before Thursday’s win, including a four-set loss to the Tigers on Tuesday.
“It’s all about confidence,” Loramie coach John Rodgers said. “We had a real tough match on Tuesday. Jackson Center’s good, but we didn’t play well. Yesterday in practice and into today, we talked about what you need to do individually for us. Even though it’s a team sport, you still have to focus on what you have to do individually.
“I think they got too worked up on Tuesday and tonight worked on staying calm, letting the game come to us and not getting worked up about giving up a point here or there. It’s all about staying confident in what you’re doing.”
Russia (7-3) had a three-point lead late in the third set, but Loramie scored nine of the last 10 points to secure the victory. Junior Chloe Stang came up with several kills in the third game to help the Redskins clinch the win.
“We just kept up our intensity,” Stang said. “Our defense played a really big part in that.”
Rodgers said he’s been pleased with every player’s effort and is especially pleased with the improvement of senior setter Sophia Albers. Albers had 34 assists for the Redskins.
“She’s really learning how to run a team and make things go,” Rodgers said.
Stang had eight kills. Marissa Meiring and Morgan Holscher had 10 kills each, while Abby Holthaus had six. Emily Austin had 20 digs, while Meiring had 14, Stang had 13 and Albers had 11.
Rodgers, who won his 200th career match on Thursday, said the race for the league title is wide open.
“Who knows who will come out on top,” Rodgers said. “When we won the (Division IV) state title in 2014, we didn’t win the league. It’s kind of an elusive banner. But basically if we can play like we did tonight, we can always walk out of the gym with our heads held high regardless of the outcome of the match.
“That’s sort of one of our biggest goals this year. Play aggressive, play confident, play your game. If they beat you, so be it. But I like our chances sometimes when we’re playing well.”
Stang said the team needs to work on being more consistent through the rest of the season.
“We’ve got to focus,” Stang said. “On Tuesday, we weren’t as mentally prepared as we should have been. It was a big game for us since Jackson’s such a big rival and it was supposed to be coach’s 200th win then. We have to just keep playing like tonight and not drop off like we have sometimes this season.”
Fort Loramie’s next match is on Saturday against Marion Local, while Russia plays next on Monday at Fort Recovery.
Anna 3, Fairlawn 0
The Rockets beat Fairlawn 25-11, 25-8 and 25-10 on Thursday.
Lauren Dudgeon had four kills and four digs for the Jets, while Lauren Weinschenk had four digs and one kill. Brittany Strunk had four assists, and Kenedee Gallimore had six digs.
Anna (7-4) plays next on Saturday at home against New Bremen, while Fairlawn (2-8) plays again on Monday at Covington.
Jackson Center 3, Houston 0
Jackson Center beat Houston 25-6, 25-18 and 25-13 on Thursday.
Raquel Kessler had 22 kills and six digs for the Tigers. Caroline Frieders had seven kills, seven digs and 14 assists. Elizabeth Hickey had seven kills, Madilynn Platfoot had 14 assists and six digs, Katie Sosby had 15 digs, Connor Pipke had 10 digs and Megan Argabright had three solo blocks.
Sarah Monnier had seven kills and five digs for the Wildcats, while Hayden Riesenbeck had five kills. Olivia Bowser, Hannah Bixler and Amber Stangel had 10 digs.
Jackson Center (5-4) plays next on Saturday at Lima Central Catholic, while Houston (3-6, 1-4 SCAL) plays again on Saturday at Sidney in a tri-match with Indian Lake.
Riverside 3, Lima Perry 0
The Pirates beat Perry 25-3, 25-11 and 25-10 on Thursday. Marissa Davis had 15 kills while Shelby Giles had six. Lauryn Sanford had 19 assists.
Riverside (8-2) plays next on Saturday night at Benjamin Logan.
Fort Recovery 3, New Bremen 1
New Bremen won the first set 25-14 but lost the next three 25-18, 25-19 and 25-19 in a Midwest Athletic Conference match on Thursday. Paige Jones had 24 kills, Julia Goettemoeller had seven kills and Abbi Thieman had 21 assists.
The Cardinals (8-1, 2-1 MAC) play next on Saturday at Anna.
St. Henry 3, Minster 0
The Redskins beat Minster 25-14, 25-14 and 25-23 on Thursday.
Danielle Barhorst led the Wildcats with five kills while Emily Stubbs had a team-high 14 digs and Brooke Wolf had 17 assists. Paige Thobe had four kills, five assists, three digs and three blocks while Taylor Hoying had four kills and four digs.
Minster (4-4, 1-2 MAC) plays next on Tuesday at New Bremen.
New Knoxville 3, Delphos St. John’s 0
The Rangers beat St. John’s 25-18, 25-14 and 25-17 on Thursday in a MAC contest. New Knoxville (5-2, 2-1) plays next on Saturday at St. Henry in a quad-match with Eaton and Greenville.
Tippecanoe 6, Sidney 0
The Red Devils won the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North last year and started divisional play with a big win over Sidney on Thursday.
“Not our best performance tonight,” Sidney coach Jamie Fridley said. “Tipp just flat outplayed us, they were the better team. But we did have a few positive moments in the first half.”
Sidney (6-4, 5-1 GWOC North) plays next on Tuesday at home against Troy.
Botkins 2, New Knoxville 0
Ryland Dyrness had nine saves for the Rangers, who drop to 2-3 in the WOSL and 3-4 overall.
New Knoxville plays next on Saturday against Fort Jennings, while Botkins (3-2-2, 2-1-1) plays next on Tuesday at Cory-Rawson.
Jackson Center 1, Lima Central Catholic 1
Gavin Booser scored the Tigers’ goal on Thursday. Jackson Center (4-3-2, 2-0-2 Western Ohio Soccer League) plays again next Thursday against Lehman.
Anna 8, Allen East 0
The Rockets improved to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the WOSL with Thursday’s big win.
Taylor Noll scored five goals, while Abby Gaydosh, Michaela Ambos and Taylor Kauffmann had one goal each. Gaydosh and Rylie Edwards had two assists each, while Emily Albers, Marissa VanGorden, Ella Doseck and Noll had one assist each. Savannah Hostetler had two saves in the shutout.
Lehman Catholic 10, Delphos St. John’s 0
Grace Olding and Grace Monnin had two goals each for the Cavaliers in Thursday’s big win. Samantha Edwards, Lindsey Magoteaux, Ava Behr, Lyndsey Jones, Molly Safreed and Rylie McIver scored one goal each.
Olding had three assists, while McIver, Safreed and Elizabeth Gibson each had one assist. Hannah Giguere had the shutout at goalie.
The Cavaliers (5-2, 5-0 WOSL) play next on Saturday at Miami East.
Lehman Catholic 4, Bellefontaine 1
The Cavaliers improved to 3-9 with Thursday’s win. Claire Larger won 6-2 and 6-0 at first singles, Sarah Gibson lost 6-1 and 6-2 at second singles and Melanie Brunner won by two 6-2 scores at third singles.
Angela Brunner and Grace Brandt won 6-2 and 7-6 at first doubles, while Kiera Burns and Ann Pannapara won by two 6-4 scores at second doubles.
“Claire had a solid win at first singles for her 10th win of the season,” Lehman coach Tim Ungericht said. She is 7-2 in her last 9 matches. Melanie had a nice bounce back win after a tough close loss in the deciding match at Celina on Tuesday. She is much improved mentally this season.
“Ann and Kiera had another solid performance at 2nd doubles and Grace filled in nicely at varsity at doubles with Angela to get the clinching win for the team. Every varsity girl on our team has more individual wins than last year with seven matches, the coaches cup and sectionals left. That’s big improvement and great to see.”
Lehman plays next on Monday at home against Springfield Catholic Central.
Celina 3, Lehman Catholic 2
Lehman lost a close match on Tuesday.
Claire Larger won 6-2, lost 6-1 and won 6-4 at first singles, Sarah Gibson won 7-6 and 6-2 at second singles and Melanie Brunner lost 6-3, won 6-3 and lost 6-4 at third singles.
Alex Read and Angela Brunner lost 6-1 and 6-1 at first doubles, and Ann Pannapara and Kiera Burns lost 6-3, won 6-3 and lost 6-0 at second doubles.
Versailles 182, St. John’s 250
Versailles’ Jorja Pothast was the medalist with a 43 on Thursday. Lauren Durham had a 45, Morgan Barlage had a 46 and Ann Groff had a 48 to finish the Tigers’ scoring. Morgan Heitkamp had a 49 and Maddie Durham had a 53.
Riverside 221, Elgin 241
Riverside’s Dana Jones was the medalist with a 41.
Delphos St. John’s 168, Versailles 172
Connor VanSkyock and PJ Platfoot each had 41 for the Tigers. Alex Keiser had a 43 and Will Eversole had a 47 to finish off the scoring. Austin Pleiman and Brayden Robinson each had 48.
St. John’s Adam Gerker was the medalist with a 38.
New Knoxville 194, Fort Recovery 205
Ray Newton had a 44 for the Rangers. Jack Bartholomew had a 47 and Nathan Tinnerman had a 49.