PERRYSBURG – They say you can’t have enough size in volleyball and Otsego, who has more than most teams in the area, used it to their advantage recording a 25-20, 25-14 and 25-8 sweep over Evergreen in the Division III district semifinal at Perrysburg on Wednesday.
Eden Eisel scored first on a shot from the middle, but it would be one of only two Viking leads in the whole match as the Knights front line of 6’3”, 6’0” and 6’0” gave Evergreen very few clean shots.
Senior Morgan Smoyer was the main culprit, scoring five first early kills to help the Knights to a 14-11 lead.
Eisel, who had six kills in the first set, kept the Vikings in the match, scoring from the middle to make it 20-17 before Smoyer nailed two more shots from the middle to boost the Otsego lead to 22-18.
Kaela Fauble’s left side shot that painted the back line got Evergreen within three one last time before 6’3” Taylor Dean-Roberts hammered a shot from the middle and Erica Noble’s block kill ended the first set.
Alyssa Noe’s ace got Evergreen in front 2-0 in the second set but nine straight Otsego points, three from Smoyer and four Viking attack errors that went out trying to go around the towering Otsego front wall, followed.
Dean-Roberts’ block and a Smoyer kill ballooned the lead to 15-4 before Evergreen made a run.
After a Knight serve went out, Fauble scored from the middle, a double hit call, a combo block from Fauble and Haili Mossing, Lauren Overfield’s ace and another Knight attack that went out got Evergreen within 15-10.
Mossing’s tip kept the margin at five, 16-11, but a controversial double hit call just before an Eisel kill gave Otsego a six point lead rather than four and the Knights never looked back.
Two more kills from Smoyer and a block from Noble helped end the second set, and seven kills from Smoyer keyed the third set win.
The Vikings, who won the NWOAL title for the third straight year and a sectional for the eighth year in a row, bowed out of the tournament with a 21-3 record.
Otsego went on to score a decisive four set win over top-seeded Eastwood in the district final to advance to regional play this week.
Joe Blystone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org