The Devils beat back a first game challenge from Bellbrook and stormed to the three game sweep.
“Bellbrook brought a lot in the first game,” noted Tipp City coach Pat Carus, “I told the girls do not underestimate this team, they are here for a reason.”
Tipp City was the heavy favorite coming into the match against a Bellbrook team making their first ever regional appearance. In the first game, the Eagles showed no signs of nerves and forced Tipp City to work for each point.
Using the outside hitting of Brittany Powers and Stephanie Bruggeman Bellbrook took advantage of some early Devil miscues. The two teams traded points after an early Tipp spurt that gave them a 5-2 advantage.
With the game tied at 20-20 the Devils made a push and took a 21-20 lead. That advantage went to 23-21 and finally Tipp’s Hallie Donathan propelled her team a 25-21 win serving out the game’s last two points.
The first game acted like a springboard for the Devils as they went on to dominate the rest of the match.
“Bellbrook did a really nice job in the first game,” noted Carus “We wanted to turn up the pressure on them, hold their middle blockers and move the ball outside a little bit.”
At the start of the second game it appeared as if Bellbrook was going to stand strong against Tipp, but that was not the case.
After tying the game at 2-2, Bellbrook was simply overmatched. Tipp City turned up the pressure with the hitting of Cassie Berning, Abby Dowd and Gina Porto. It took sometime, but eventually the Devils took control of both sides of the net, putting a halt to the Eagles offense.
Tipp’s Rachel Bruce blew open the second game with six service points, giving her team a 14-6 advantage. From that point the Devils stormed to 25, winning the second game 25-15 and going up 2-0 in the match.
Nearly to the point of needing a miracle, the Eagles were desperate for something to stymie the Tipp momentum. That did not happen.
Looking to finish off the staggered Eagles, Tipp jumped out to a 9-3 advantage in the third game behind the serve of Porto. It was a stunning blow to a Bellbrook team that had not recovered from game two.
As the third game moved forward the Devils continued attacking, building a 20-7 lead and nearing a trip to the state semi-final. Tipp City maintained control of the net, turning up the pressure and swatting away a number of Bellbrook net attacks.
“We had been working all week on blocking, because as we have moved along in the tournament we have seen a lot more teams attacking the net,” noted Carus “We have a decent sized team, but we just had not seen a lot of teams attacking the net during the season.”
With everything going against them, Bellbrook made one final stand hoping to prevent the end of their season.
The Eagles fought back going on a 6-2 run, making it a 23-14, however the deficit was much too large as Tipp quickly regained focus and control of the game. The final point came on Laura Herkins’ serve as Tipp won the third game 25-16 and the match 25-16.
“We are disappointed today, but Tipp City is a great team,” commented Bellbrook coach Anne Galle.