One of those teams is Sidney Lehman Catholic.
The Cavaliers have two things going for them. First, they are a solid team and second, they have tradition. The Cavs finished the season 15-7, but if there was ever a misleading statistic that stat might be it. The Cavs, who won the 2005 D-IV state title, are ranked No. 7 in the D-IV state poll.
Lehman’s seven losses have came to Anna (twice), Versailles, Chaminade-Julienne, Marion Local, Jackson Center and Huron. All six of those teams are ranked in the top five of their respective divisions and seen as state title contenders.
If there was ever a tested team, Lehman is it.
“In the long run playing the type of competition we have played hopefully will pay off,” Lehman Coach Greg Snipes said.
So far, so good.
Saturday, Lehman downed Cedarville in the first round of the sectional tournament. Wednesday the Cavaliers wasted little time beating Mechanicsburg 25-7, 25-9 and 25-11 in the second round.
“We have to take it one match at a time now,” Snipes said. “I thought we looked pretty good tonight overall. But it is important for us not to lose focus out there.”
The match was never really in question as Lehman was too much for the scrappy Mechanicsburg squad.
Although the Indians managed to dig and somewhat neutralize the Cavs hitters, it was the service game they could not handle. More specifically the jump serve of Lehman’s Jessica Slagle.
The senior was in rhythm Wednesday wreaking havoc on the Indians service return game.
In the first game, it was Slagle’s serve that really put things away. With the game tight at 4-3, Lehman started to slowly pull away. Up 8-4 Slagle all but sealed the fate of the Indians. The senior tore off nine consecutive points, giving the Cavs a 17-5 advantage.
From there it was just a matter of time before Lehman reached 25, which they did winning the first game 25-7.
“We got on a run and took control of the first game and that was good to see,” Snipes said. “We served aggressively and effectively.”
Amazingly the second game played out almost like the first game. In the early going of the second game, the Indians were determined to continue fighting. Mechanicsburg’s McKenzie’s Callicoat served her team to a 4-3 advantage.
However, Jennifer Paulus began the Cavalier run, giving her team an 8-5 lead. Then just like the first game Slagle took it to another level.
This time it was only five points, but it still gave Lehman a 15-7 advantage and command of the game. Once again they took that momentum and cruised to a 25-9 advantage, taking full control of the match 2-0.
Sensing a chance to move on quickly, Lehman came out strong in the third game. Jessica Thobe served the game’s first five points. After that Lehman simply pushed forward taking the third game 25-11 and the match 3-0.
The Lehman win now sets up an interesting sectional final bout with Ft. Loramie. The Redskins rolled over Tri-Village 25-21, 25-16 and 25-8. According the Loramie Coach John Rodgers, jitters were his team’s biggest hurdle.
“We have three freshmen on the floor and jitters were certainly the problem,” Rodgers said. “I had to calm down though before I could calm the team down.”
Lehman and Loramie play Saturday at Tippecanoe High School with a 6 p.m. start.