LIMA — In a game of giant momentum swings, and lengthy service streaks, Wapakoneta found itself on the wrong side of a 3-1 loss in the first round of sectionals.
At Lima Senior High School, Van Wert defeated the Redskins Tuesday night to move to the next round of sectionals.
Wapakoneta’s volleyball season is over.
With the set score tied at one, the Redskins had a demanding lead in set number three, flirting with a double digit lead the entire match.
“We were down,” said Van Wert varsity head coach Vicki Smith. “I told the girls, just one point at a time. A couple errors on their part, and we were chipping away. They just kept adding up.”
The Cougars came back to tie it in the third set at 23-23, and won the next two points to take the set lead.
That was a set the Redskins needed. The loss of momentum after dropping that set seemed to deflate the Redskin squad, and Wapakoneta lost the fourth and final set convincingly.
“It’s tough when the other team comes back and beats you like that, and then to try and get momentum again in the next game,” Smith said. “We have always been a team that plays one point at a time.”
While the end of the third set was a momentum killer for Wapakoneta, the second set seem to demoralize the Cougars.
Van Wert, after taking set one 25-15, found itself tied in set two 12-12.
The Redskins, behind the service of senior Nicole Brown and senior Amber Dickerson, won 13 of the next 15 points to win set two easily.
“I talked to my defensive people and brought them out one by one to show them what they weren’t doing,” Smith said. “They weren’t moving... We were losing a lot of points on tips... We weren’t passing well ... I needed to show them what we weren’t doing.”
Despite the result of set three, things really did look good for the Redskins, carrying the momentum from the charge in set two.
Unfortunately for the ‘Skins, it fizzled.
“I don’t really like to go into the tournament with a win against somebody because i think the girls tend to let up, thinking that they can win,” Smith said. “I think I would rather go in thinking that we have played well against them. Sometimes knowing that you already beat them, it can let your guard down.”
Wapakoneta head coach Keith Rambin could not be reached after the match Tuesday.
Wapakoneta finished the season with a record of 13-9, with an 0-1 campaign in the post season.
Wapakoneta graduates five seniors from the squad this year, all who have contributed greatly to the team.
Megan Hayzlett, Amber Dickerson, Nicole Brown, Ashlie Cox and Carlie Sammons all played their last match as a Redskin.