Three Crawford County teams competed in the Division IV sectional tournament Saturday evening at Ontario, and only one stayed alive.
Buckeye Central (20-3) defeated Crestline (5-19) in three, 25-6, 25-2, 25-10, to advance to Tuesday’s district semifinal against Monroeville at Willard. In the second game of the night, Lucas (13-11) defeated Colonel Crawford (8-15) in four, 13-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-20.
The Eagles started off strong, never trailing in Game 1, and took a 4-0 lead to start out Game 2, but Lucas rallied back, with junior Emiley Robinson serving back-to-back aces to take a 5-4 advantage. From there, the momentum seemed to stick with the Cubs.
“We don’t have any size, but we hit the ball pretty well so we can play good defense,” Lucas coach Tim Stallard said. “When we moved our feet and passed well, we knew we had a good chance of coming back and winning.
In Game 4, the Eagles battled back, trailing 22-15, and managed to come within three, 23-20, but the Cubs held on for the victory.
“I told them in the locker room not to hang their heads,” Colonel Crawford coach Amber Christy said. “We had a lot of good touches on the ball, and a lot more blocks on the ball towards the end of the season than there were at the beginning, so the girls are starting to understand more how to get to the ball quicker, and things like that.”
Colonel Crawford senior Shayla Stuckman finished with six kills and two solo blocks, and junior Kristen Teglovic had four kills and two blocks. Sophomore Jada Klingenberger finished with 21 serve receptions and 12 digs. The Eagles lose four seniors in Taylor Clayton, out with a torn ACL, Bri Rankins, Stuckman and Chelsea Civay. For Lucas, Alex Purdy had 12 kills, Nina Smollen had 10 kills and Robinson finished with 18 assists.
“From the very beginning of the season, with what we had lost to graduation last year in three college players and another senior that played all the way around, these girls have grown,” Christy said. “When you come in and you have four girls that have never really played much varsity at all, and then one of them in eight games goes down with a torn ACL and meniscus, a couple of those girls had to grow up real quick.”
The Buckettes played a very clean, fundamentally strong match, especially in Game 2. Buckeye Central senior Kilee Kimmel served 15 straight points, including four aces, putting BC up 16-0.
“She is a senior and she has great leadership,” Buckettes coach Ken Brubaker said. “She knows missing serves ruins your momentum, and in volleyball it’s about momentum. When you miss serves, you lose momentum, and she really takes pride in her serve, and she values every point. That is what a senior leader does.”
Buckeye Central’s serving gave the Bulldogs problems throughout the match. Kimmel finished with 19 points, Hailey Hildebrand had 14 points, Sarah Heydinger had 12 points and an ace, Emily Weithman finished with six points and an ace and Brooke Karl had three points. For Crestline, Ashton Eckert had an ace and both Kenzie Ronk and Kayla Gregory each had a point.
“This was a serve receive game,” Brubaker said. “We knew if we served well and we passed well we would have a good match, and we did both of those things.”