By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
CASSTOWN — It should have come as no surprise that it came down to five sets.
The Miami East and Lehman Catholic volleyball teams both have aspirations to go far down the tournament trail.
And understandably so.
East continued its dominance in the CCC this year, is 13-8 and the top seed in the D-III sectional, while Lehman is 17-4 and the second seed in the D-IV sectional.
And in the end, the visiting Lady Cavaliers were able to use a big service run by Lauren McFarland in the fifth set to hold on for a 25-20, 25-18, 17-25, 20-25, 15-10 victory.
While Miami East coach Dan Peterson declined comment, Lehman coach Carolyn Dammeyer was excited to get the win.
“We needed this,” Dammeyer said. “Now it is on to the tournament.”
After Miami East had erased Lehman’s momentum by winning the third and fourth sets and taking a 3-0 lead in the race to 15 with Gretchen Frock at the service line — Lehman stunned East with nine straight points and the Vikings could never recover.
Olivia Lucia had a tip for sideout to send Lauren McFarland to the service line.
McFarland, who like Miami East’s Sophie Jacomet — went over 1,000 career digs on the night, served eight straight points with Lucia recording a block, a tip and combining with Reese Geise for a block and suddenly Lehman led 9-3.
“She (Lauren McFarland) is our best server,” Dammeyer said. “I think Miami East kind of took us out of our offense (in the third and fourth sets), but Oliva (Lucia) and Reese (Geise) stepped up.”
East could get no closer than four points and it ended at 14-10 when the Vikings could not return Lehman’s serve.
“I thought we really played well in the fifth set,” Dammeyer said.
Lehman had started the match fast, leading 5-0 in the first set, with McFarland serving two aces.
East came all the way back to tie it 13-13 on a kill by Sierra Kinnison.
The Vikings had a 19-18 lead before Lehman outpointed them 7-1 to finish the set.
The final three points came with Pyper Sharkins at the service line, with one coming on a McFarland kill.
The second set was similar to the first.
East was within 19-16, before Lehman pulled away.
McFarland had kill to put Lehman up 24-18 and the Vikings return of Caroline Wesner’s serve was wide to give Lehman a 2-0 lead.
But, Miami East quickly turned things around.
In the third set, East opener a 16-9 lead and held on from there.
Jacomet had a kill to give the Vikings a 24-17 lead and East finished things on a Gabrielle Hawkins serve.
The Vikings jumped out to a 15-7 lead in set four and Lehman could not catch up.
Jacomet had consecutive kills to give East a 23-17 lead and Jacomet serve and ace at 24-20 to finish off the set and set up the race to 15.
“I thought Miami East served a lot tougher and took us out of our offense in the third and fourth sets,” Dammeyer said.
Lucio had 13 kills, four solo blocks, five assist blocks and 14 digs; while Geise had 12 kills, one solo blocks and four assist blocks.
Abby Schutt added two solo blocks and 19 digs.
Wesner dished out 25 assists, while McFarland served seven aces and led the defense with 19 digs.
Heidi Schutt had 15 digs and Larkins added 11.
Miami East stats were unavailable at press time.
Lehman will close the regular season by hosting Waynesfield-Goshen Thursday, while East will travel to Covington.
Before both teams begin what they believe will be long tournament runs.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at email@example.com.
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