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Published: Friday, 10/25/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

PREP VOLLEYBALL

Arrows work quick in district title win

St. Ursula handles Perrysburg in 3 games

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Perrysburg's Savannah Miller, left, and Audra Appold dive to make a play during their match against St. Ursula. Perrysburg's Savannah Miller, left, and Audra Appold dive to make a play during their match against St. Ursula.
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BOWLING GREEN — Playing perhaps its best all-around match of the season Thursday night, the top-ranked St. Ursula volleyball team made short work of ninth-ranked Perrysburg during a 25-15, 25-15, 25-19 victory in a Division I district final at the Stroh Center.

The Arrows (26-0) had a balanced attack, led by Elizabeth Coil’s 13 kills. Morgan Finn contributed nine kills, and Lauren Daudelin and Lauran Graves added seven apiece for the Three Rivers Athletic Conference champions.

“It was a complete match tonight,” Arrows coach John Buck said. “I thought this was probably the first time we played from the first game through the third game without any let-ups. And that’s a good team over there.”

PHOTO GALLERY: St. Ursula Arrows fly past Perrysburg Yellow Jackets

St. Ursula, which advanced to its 13 regional in 14 seasons, was paced defensively by Maurissa Leonard’s 19 digs. Sisters Ryann and Jayme Cox added 10 digs apiece. Setters Emily Lydey and Madelyn McCabe had 21 and 18 assists, respectively.

The Arrows will play in a regional semifinal 6 p.m. Wednesday at Brecksville-Broadview Heights, facing the winner of Thursday’s district final between 13th-ranked Chagrin Falls Kenston and unranked Solon.

Perrysburg (23-3), which saw its 20-match winning streak snapped, got 10 kills from Audra Appold and eight from Savannah Miller. Setter Chloe Matuga had 29 assists, and the Yellow Jackets’ defense was paced by 12 digs from Appold and 11 from Miller.

“They’re a great defensive team,” Jackets coach Jamie Babcock said. “They put up a good block, and nothing hits the floor. There’s a reason they’re No. 1.

“We needed to be more aggressive. That was part of our game plan, and we didn’t follow through on that.”

In Game 1, St. Ursula bolted to a 6-1 lead before the Jackets could get settled in. Perrysburg did pull within 10-7 on Mackenzie Pohlman’s dump shot for a kill, then saw the Arrows catch fire.

Morgan Rectenwald hit one of her six kills for a sideout, and Leonard then served six straight points for a 17-7 lead. A Coil kill closed out that game.

“It was not just me,” Coil said of her strong attack game. “The passes were on spot, and the setting was on spot. Everyone was on target tonight. It was a team effort. We’ve been working real hard in practice, and out of practice we’re a family, and that helps.”

St. Ursula’s Morgan Finn, left, spikes against Perrysburg’s Savannah Miller on Wednesday night. St. Ursula’s Morgan Finn, left, spikes against Perrysburg’s Savannah Miller on Wednesday night.
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Perrysburg was still within 11-10 in Game 2 before the Arrows staged another game-changing surge. This time Finn got things rolling on a kill, and Jayme Cox served the next four points for a 16-10 advantage.

“One of the differences was that our right sides were playing really well,” Buck said. “Morgan Finn and Elizabeth Coil had outstanding games. We thought it might be tough to go that way because [Perrysburg] had tall blockers over there. We kind of had a game plan to stay away from that, but we tried a few early and it kept working, so we stayed with it.”

The Northern Lakes League champion Yellow Jackets got no closer than four points from there. Ryann Cox served four consecutive points late, and a Rectenwald kill closed that game with a kill.

Game 3 was the most competitive of the match, despite Perrysburg’s falling behind 8-3 at the outset. The Jackets chipped away and pulled within 8-6 on a Pohlman block at the net.

That was as close as Perrysburg got in the 75-minute match. The omnipresent St. Ursula defense refused to yield any easy points, even with the Jackets sending numerous attacks at the Arrows.

St. Ursula is an Ohio-best 108-4 since the start of their 2010 state-championship season. The Arrows are two wins from a fourth straight state final-four appearance — and 10 trips to state in 14 years.

“I’m very excited and proud of my team,” Leonard said. “We all worked together very well. Every practice we push and for every match, and it’s an honor to play for St. Ursula and be able to do this.

“We played very well. We talked to each other on every point, and we played together as a whole.”

Contact Steve Junga at: sjunga@theblade.com, or 419-724-6461 or on Twitter@JungaBlade.



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