PERRYSBURG – Swanton fought hard in the first set, even holding a 21-18 lead at one point, but could not hang on and Otsego went on to take the next two as well for a 25-23, 25-16, 25-11 victory in the Division III volleyball district semifinal Wednesday at Perrysburg High School.
The Bulldogs trailed in the beginning of the first set until Deanna Herr’s shot from the left side, an ace from Cydney Christensen and a pair of Otsego hitting errors tied it at 15. Both teams then alternated points until Herr got a tip at the net to put Swanton in front.
Swanton’s Julia Smith then added a pair of shots down the middle, Brynn Limes responded with a kill for the Knights, but Smith’s block made it 21-18. The Knights got the next four points thanks to three Swanton errors and an ace to go ahead 22-21.
The score would be tied at 22 and again at 23, but a Bulldog serving error and also a net violation gave the first set to the Knights.
“I thought we came out ready to compete in the first set. We had the lead 21-18 despite the fact that we committed many unforced errors, but we just couldn’t finish off that first set,” said Swanton coach Kyle Borer. “After that we just didn’t get our confidence back and one error led to another throughout the next two sets. We had the same amount of kills as hitting errors tonight, and that will not result in a successful outcome.”
Two errors from the Knights and Christensen’s kill got the Dogs within a point, 10-9, in the second set. However, that was as close as they would get the rest of the way.
Maddi Nell got a block, then a Bulldog error and Zion Richardson’s kill gave the Knights a four-point cushion.
Following an Otsego error, a Swanton miscue and another kill from Richardson made it 15-10. They rolled from there, carrying that advantage into a 25-16 victory in the second set.
“They served to areas that caused us issues, so we weren’t keeping our offense in system on serve reception,” said Borer of the Knights. “We also couldn’t keep Zion Richardson in check throughout the match. She hurt us attacking in the middle and our blocking and defense didn’t make the proper adjustments on her.”
The Knights at one point rallied off 13 straight points in the third game to break open what was a close set. With the score at 10-8 in favor of the Knights, they used five kills from Richardson and two from Stefani Euler, plus many Swanton errors to pull away at 23-8.
“Overall we did not step up together as a team and play with poise tonight,” concluded Borer. “Since we are young and will have most of the girls back next year, hopefully we learn from this experience, show more maturity, and improve upon this performance if we find ourselves back here then.”
Christensen finished with seven kills to lead the Bulldog attack. Smith had five kills and 12 digs, while Sidney Taylor finished with five kills and eight digs.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010