By Rob Kiser
The Piqua volleyball team has the talent and athleticism to dominate at times.
And while they haven’t put it all together yet, the Lady Indians have opened the season with two straight wins, with two big GWOC North American matches upcoming.
On Monday, the Lady Indians improved to 2-0 with a 25-19, 25-18, 25-21 win over Milton-Union.
“That (consistency) is something we have been working on,” Piqua coach Liana Michael said. “But, with this stretch of matches, we haven’t practiced since Friday.”
In all three sets, Piqua would open leads, only to see Milton-Union rally.
“Our goal is not to allow more than three points (in a row) in a rally,” Michael said. “We did not meet that goal. That is something that has to change in our first two league matches.”
Two aces by Ashley Branding and two kills by Mikayla Schaffer helped Piqua take a 6-1 lead in the opening set.
Milton-Union rallied to take an 11-10 lead, before two aces by Tylah Yeomans and a kill by Brading help Piqua go in front 16-11.
The Lady Bulldogs got as close as 19-18, but kills by Brading and Ashley Ho finished off the first set at 25-19.
In the second set, Mikayla Schaffner had a kill on Macie Schaffner’s serve to help Piqua take a 19-11 lead, before Milton-Union answered with eight straight points.
“It is a matter of our passing and hitting to be more consistent,” Michael said. “Our setters are working their butts off out there.”
Piqua then answered with seven straight points to finish the set, with Brading serving an ace and Mikayla Schaffner having a kill to end it.
“The good thing is we were able to come back and win (the sets),” Michael said.
The third set was close most of the way, but Piqua was able to finish it off at the end for a 25-21 win.
Lauren Williams had an ace to make it 24-19 and Ho closed it out at 24-21 with a kill.
Mikayla Schaffner and Bradning had seven kills each, while Navie Garber had a block and Yeomans and Brading each served three aces.
Kelsey Magoteaux led the defense with 14 digs, while Williams dished out 18 assists and Macie Schaffner added 15.
After traveling to Vandalia-Butler Tuesday, Piqua will be home Thursday to host Tippecanoe.
“They are (two big matches),” Michael said. “They are what we have been preparing and working for. We are ready.”
After two solid wins to start the season.
Rob Kiser is the Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.