Three of four state volleyball champions are first-time winners


34th Annual State Volleyball Tournament

A look back at the 34th annual state volleyball tournament.

A look back at the 34th annual state volleyball tournament.

Division I

Olmsted Falls wins record-setting match with Cincinnati Ursuline

FAIRBORN – Olmsted Falls won the Division I state volleyball title Saturday at Wright State University’s Nutter Center as the Bulldogs defeated the Cincinnati Ursuline Academy Lions in four games, 39-37, 16-25, 25-21, 25-12.

The 39-37 first game score is the highest in a state tournament championship match since Ohio went to the rally scoring format in 2004. The previous high was 28-26, set on three different occasions. The first game featured 17 ties and six lead changes.

It also marked the first time since Toledo St. Ursula in 2004 that a team from the Girls Greater Catholic League did not win Division I and, with Kettering Alter’s loss to Parma Padua in Division II, is the first time that a team from the GGCL did not win a state title since 1992.

Olmsted Falls, which finishes the season as the only undefeated team in all four divisions in Ohio at 29-0, was led by senior Lauren Whyte, who posted a double-double of 36 kills and 22 digs. Senior Brittany Snider also had a double-double of 19 kills and 17 digs while sophomore setter Dayna Roberts had 63 assists and 23 digs.

The Bulldogs, making their first-ever appearance in the state title match, advanced to the state semifinals in 1977 and 2000.

Ursuline (28-1) was led by junior Jade Henderson with a double-double of 14 kills and 17 digs while senior Katie Schings had 12 kills, senior Holly Gottschall 11 kills and sophomore Christina Beer 10 kills. The Lions, in their ninth all-time apperance in the state final four, were attempting to win their fourth state title (1975, 1993, 2002) and finished runner-up for the fourth time (1995, 2001, 2003).

Division II

Parma Padua wins first title in school history hands Kettering Alter its first state loss

FAIRBORN – In a match that featured 37 ties and 19 lead changes, Parma Padua won its first state volleyball title as the Bruins (26-3) defeated Kettering Alter (20-9) in the Division II state volleyball finals Saturday at the Nutter Center.

Padua was led by junior Kaitlyn Leary, who posted a double-double of 23 kills and 13 digs. Junior Christie Fritsche added 13 kills while senior Meghan Cugliari recorded 48 assists and 13 digs and junior Lauren Goebel 19 digs.

It was Padua first-ever trip to the state final four.

Alter, which fell short of winning its fourth state title since 2002, was led by senior Annalyse Schmitt and sophomore Kelly Westerkamp, both with 11 kills. The Knights, who hadn’t lost a state final four match in four trips (7-0) previously, won Division II state titles in 2002, 2003 and 2006.

Division III

Third time the charm for Albany Alexander, Spartans beat Gates Mills Gilmour Academy for first title

FAIRBORN – Albany Alexander won its first state volleyball title Saturday night as the Spartans defeated the Gates Mills Gilmour Academy Lancers 25-17, 27-25, 25-15 for the Division III crown at Wright State’s Nutter Center.

Alexander, who lost to Lima Central Catholic in last year’s title match, was making its third straight appearance in the state final four while Gilmour Academy was in the final four for the second consecutive year. The Lancers, who defeated LCC Friday to advance to the championship, dropped a five-game decision to the Spartans in last year’s Division III semifinals a year to the day of this year’s matchup (November 8).

Alexander had just a 36-27 kill advantage, but Gilmour Academy committed 28 attack errors compared to just 16 for the Spartans as they held a 12-4 block advantage.

Senior Megan McCoy led Alexander (28-1) with 12 kills while senior Betsy Irwin added nine and senior Whitney Smith eight. Senior Sarah Radekin dished out 32 assists and senior Lauren Raines had 23 digs.

Junior Mary Kramer paced Gilmour Academy (27-2) with eight kills and senior Madison Mawby chipped in seven. Senior Kelsey Rodgers had 20 assists along with 10 digs while seniors Raysa Sylvester and Alyssa Brigeman each had 14 digs.

Division IV

Maria Stein Marion Local defends title, beats Jackson Center

FAIRBORN – Marion Local defended its Division IV state volleyball championship Saturday as the Flyers defeated the Jackson Center Tigers 23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 at Wright State’s Nutter Center.

The Flyers, who were No. 2 in the final coaches poll, avenged a five-game loss to the No. 1 ranked Tigers September 20 in Maria Stein.

It was the second straight title for Marion Local, who was the state runner-up in 2002 and appeared in the state semifinals in 2000. Jackson Center was making its second consecutive appearance in the state final four and its first in the title match.

The win for Marion Local gives the Midwest Athletic Conference 11 state crowns in the 34 years of the state tournament (Fort Recovery 1990; Marion Local 2007, 2008; Rockford Parkway 1996, 1997; St. Henry 1985, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2004). Since Ohio went to four divisions in volleyball in 1990, the Division IV state champion has come from the Northwest District every year except for 2003 and 2005.

Sophomore Alyssa Winner led Marion Local (26-3) with a double-double of 29 kills and 19 digs while junior Leah Rosenbeck had 10 kills.

Senior Allissa Ware paced Jackson Center (28-2) with a double-double of 23 kills and 23 digs while junior Casey Gates also had a double-double of 22 kills and 26 digs.

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