ARCANUM — A call that drew the ire of Lehman Catholic fans in attendance at Arcanum may have prevented a five-set thriller in a Division IV sectional final on Wednesday against Riverside.
Instead of getting what could have been a critical point, the No. 8 seed Cavaliers couldn’t hold a 24-22 lead in the fourth set as the fifth-seeded Pirates rallied and won by a score of 25-18, 21-25, 25-16 and 26-24.
Riverside, which beat Lehman in a Northwest Central Conference match in regular season, will play Russia for a D-IV district title Saturday at Troy.
“Give Riverside credit,” Lehman coach Greg Snipes said. “They came up with a lot of big plays at the end.”
Which Riverside did.
The Pirates’ aggressive serving had given Lehman’s serve receive fits all night, but the Cavaliers had rallied in the fourth set.
With a 20-20 tie, Lehman’s players and bench began celebrating after Lauren McFarland apparently had a kill. Though the ball appeared to be deflected off a Riverside player, the officials ruled the ball didn’t touch anything but the net.
Still, Lehman continued its surge.
Alexis Snipes had a kill, then served three straight points — including kills by Lauren McFarland and Olivia Lucia — to take a 24-22 lead.
But, Riverside scored the next four points to end the match.
“The kids really did (show a lot of heart),” Snipes said. “These kids have really worked hard to get better. At the beginning of the season, I am not sure the fourth set would have been close. But, these kids have come along way.”
Riverside improved to 20-3 with the win. Marissa Davis led the Pirates with 10 kills, six solo blocks and seven block assists. Shelby Giles had seven kills and four solo blocks.
In the first and third sets, Riverside’s aggressive serving took Lehman completely out of its offense, with the Cavaliers’ passes in serve receive moving Alexis Snipes all over the floor and leaving her with few options on her sets.
“That is one of the things we talked about,” Snipes said. “We had Olivia (Lucia) in the front row. But, Alexis (Snipes) had to go to the outsides. She really didn’t have any option and Riverside knew that and could set up their defense.”
After dropping the opening set, Lehman led throughout the second set.
An ace by Lucia gave the Cavaliers a 20-15 lead and Maddy McFarland had a kill at 23-18 on Hailey Wick’s serve before the Cavaliers finished it off at 24-21 when a Riverside serve was long.
But, the Pirates took the third set and Lehman couldn’t come up with the big points at the end of the fourth set.
Lucia led Lehman, who finished 12-13, with 10 kills. Malorie Hussey had six kills, Maddy McFarland added five and Lauren McFarland and Ellie Scott had three each. Snipes had 24 assists and Wick led the defense with 10 digs.
Fort Loramie 3, Houston 0
Fort Loramie beat Houston 25-12, 25-10 and 25-18 on Wednesday at Arcanum to return to the Div. IV district finals.
Chloe Stang led Loramie with 14 kills while Marissa Meiring had eight and Kenzie Hoelscher had five. Sophia Albers had 27 assists and eight digs, while Stang led the team with 13 digs. Stang and Abby Holthaus had five aces each.
“I am very proud of the girls tonight. We played steady and confident,” Loramie coach John Rodgers said. “We are right where we need to be heading into some very big matches.”
In the third set, Houston traded points with Loramie for much of the set. Hayden Riesenbeck had a kill and Alyssa Kemp and Allisen Foster combined for a block as Houston led 8-6. Loramie went on a run to take the lead. Foster had a kill to get Houston within 21-17, but that was as close as the Wildcats could get.
Amber Stangel had 12 digs and an ace for Houston, while Olivia Bowser had 10 digs and Sarah Monnier had nine digs. Riesenbeck had three kills and Monnier had two. Kemp led the team with seven assists.
Fort Loramie will face Miami Valley Christian Academy in a district final on Saturday.
Anna beats Ben Logan to advance to district final
Anna lost the first set to Benjamin Logan 25-19 on Wednesday but rebounded and won the last three 25-22, 25-19 and 25-17 to capture a Division III sectional title at Brookville.
Emma Meyer led Anna with 18 kills, while Ashley Landis had 17 and Madison Roe had 11. Lexi Wells had 51 assists and 10 digs, while Abby Towns led the team with 20. Rachel Shoemaker had three aces and 16 digs and Carly Becker had 16 digs.
Meyer had nine block assists, Wells had eight block assists and Roe had three block assists.
Anna, which won district titles in 2015 and 2016, will face Williamsburg in a D-III district final on Saturday at Northmont.
Coldwater 3, Minster 0
Minster’s season ended with a 25-12, 25-11 and 25-8 loss to Coldwater in a Div. III district semifinal on Wednesday.
Danielle Barhorst and Paige Thobe had six kills each for the Wildcats. Regan Wuebker had a team-high 13 digs, and Brooke Wolf had three blocks.
Sidney Daily News sports editor Bryant Billing contributed to this article. Billing can be reached at email@example.com.