By Rob Kiser
TROY — It is on to Northmont for the Piqua volleyball team.
Piqua closed the regular season at 15-7 overall and 10-5 in the GWOC North/South after a 25-14, 25-10, 25-21 loss to Troy, who finished 18-4 overall and 15-0 in the GWOC North/South.
And while Piqua saved its best for last, it wasn’t quite enough.
“The third set was definitely our best set,” Piqua coach Liana Michael said.
After getting down 20-13, Piqua had an 8-3 run to close within 23-21.
Ashley Brading and Haley Michael both had kills during the run, which included six Troy hitting errors.
But, Troy was able to score the next two points to finish off the match.
“I think we had played like we did in the third set all night, it would have been a much closer match,” Liana Michael said.
Troy was celebrating Senior Night and quickly jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the opening set.
But, Piqua settled down, as aces by Brading and Mikayla Schaffner brought them within 10-7.
They were still within 13-8, before Troy had an 8-3 run to take a 21-11 lead.
An ace by Brading and a block by Ashley Ho got Piqua within 21-14 before Troy finished off the game with four straight points.
“I thought there were stretches where we put together some good volleyball,” Michael said. “But, we couldn’t sustain it.”
In the second set, a kill and block by Michael gave Piqua a 3-1 lead. Later, a Savannah Hulme kill had Piqua within 11-9, before Troy ran off 13 unanswered points to make it 24-9 and won the set 25-10.
“I have no explanation for that,” Michael said about the 13-point run. “They did (have a 13-point run). We just couldn’t put a ball away.”
Navie Garber had several kills early in the third set and Tylah Yeomans added one — which led to an by Mikayla Schaffner got Piqua within 15-12.
But, Troy had another run before Piqua’s rally came up just short.
Garber led Piqua with four kills, while Yeomans had three. Ho had three solo blocks, while Michael had one and one assist block.
Brading served three aces and Mikayla Schaffner served two, while Macie Schaffner dished out five assists.
Kelsey Magoteaux led the defense with seven digs and Yeomans added five.
“Now it is get ready for Northmont,” Michael said about Monday’s 6:15 p.m. D-I tournament opener at Centerville High School. “It is a good setup for us and I think it will be a good match. Hopefully, the girls will go in angry about tonight’s match and use that as motivation.”
As the Lady Indians move on to Northmont.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.