VOLLEYBALL: Celina bumps Wapak
FINDLAY â€” The Celina Bulldogs have won four straight Western Buckeye League volleyball championships, losing just one match over that span.
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Early in the season, the Bulldogs dismantled the Wapakoneta Redskins in three games â€” 25-14, 25-10, 25-12.
In other words, it was going to take a perfect match from the Redskins on Saturday to knock off Celina.
It wasnâ€™t to be.
Despite a valiant Wapak effort, the Bulldogs pulled out a three-game sweep â€” 25-14, 25-14, 25-20 â€” in the Division II district title game Saturday at Liberty-Benton High School.
The loss ended the Redskinsâ€™ season and denied them their first-ever trip to the regional tournament.
â€śThis isnâ€™t Celinaâ€™s first time here,â€ť Wapak coach Keith Rambin said. â€śWe knew there were two key areas we couldnâ€™t afford to struggle. And that was serve reception and service. I donâ€™t know the exact stats, but Iâ€™d venture to say we had eight to 10 service errors. ...
â€śYou cannot give easy points to Celina. They get on a two or three-point run and itâ€™s just like a snowball going downhill.â€ť
The Celina juggernaut included WBL Player of the Year Angie Fisher and first-teamer Lizz Carr. Five of the six Bulldog starters had earned all-WBL honors.
Wapak started strong in each of the three games.
The Redskins led 7-5 early in Game 1. But with the score tied at 12-12, Celina scored seven straight points to take a 19-12 lead.
A pair of Megan Hayzlett kills staunched the bleeding for a moment.
â€śWe negotiated their block a lot better this time around,â€ť Rambin said. â€śThe last time they absolutely stifled us.â€ť
But the Bulldogs rattled off the final five points of the match for the 25-14 win.
Wapak took a quick 6-2 lead in Game 2 and held on to an 11-11 tie before Celina once again rallied, outscoring the Redskins 14-3 over the remainder of the game for a 25-14 win.
The Redskins once again came out of the gate strong in Game 3, taking a 7-3 lead on three kills by Krissy Stienbaugh and two from Morgan Quellhorst.
The third game was a back-and-forth contest, with the lead changing hands 10 times. Tied at 20-20, Celina took advantage of a pair of Wapak errors, got a kill from Karr, an ace from Kiernon Koontz, and block from Zoe Kriegel to score the final five points of the match.
â€śI told the girls if we would have only played to 12 we would have won,â€ť Rambin said.
Wapak came into the match winners of seven in a row. The Redskins finish the season 16-9 overall.
After winning just 11 matches over the previous three seasons, Wapak has won 30 in Rambinâ€™s two seasons as varsity coach.
â€śTheyâ€™re a very improved team from the first time we played them,â€ť Celina coach Carolyn Dammeyer said.
Quellhorst led with eight kills. Amber Dickerson had 13 digs. And Nicole Brown had 17 assists.