|LADY BUCCS ADVANCE TO SECTIONAL FINAL...
The Covington Lady Buccs played inspired volleyball to defeat Mississinawa Valley in three games and advance to the sectional final.
OCTOBER 18, 2011 - PIQUA
The Covington Lady Buccs advanced to Saturday's sectional championship game with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-22 victory over Mississinawa Valley on Tuesday at Piqua High School.
The Lady Buccs will take on Southeastern in Piqua at 6:00pm.
"I thought we well as a team tonight," said Covington coach Lindsey Sullenberger. "Our enthusiasm was pretty good all night. The girls were playing with emotion and passion throughout the entire contest instead of for four or five points at a time."
Mississinawa Valley got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 7-1 lead in the first game.
But Covington stormed back to tie the score at 17-17 and then outscored Mississinawa 8-3 the rest of the way for a 25-20 win.
The Lady Buccs then started the second game on an 11-4 run and appeared to have the contest in hand. But Mississinawa Valley got on a roll and eventually cut the deficit to 15-13.
"We knew they (Mississinawa Valley hitters) would get their kills, but the girls never got rattled," Sullenberger explained. "We did a nice job of staying focused and just playing volleyball."
And Covington held off Mississinawa for another 25-20 win to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Still, Mississinawa Valley would fall easy as it battled back and forth with Covington in the third game and eventually took a commanding 21-17 lead.
Caitlyn Crawford got Covington rolling with an ace and then Shelby Kihm pounded out three straight kills to tie the score at 21-21.
After a kill by Mississinawa Valley, the Lady Buccs closed the deal with four straight points to take a 25-22 win and the match in three games.
"A lot of kids stepped up, but Shelby (Kihm) stepped up a lot tonight," Sullenberger said. "We need her to play like that every night."
Kihm had 13 kills to go along with Crawford's game-high 20 kills. Haley Reames recorded six timely kills as well, while Morgan Arbogast contributed with three kills.
Shelby Waag dished out 39 assists, while Crawford, Hannah Pond, Sami Snyder and Zoe Reck each had six digs on the night.
It all leads to a showdown with Southeastern for a chance to go to the district.
And Sullenberger knows her team must be on top of its game in order to advance.
"They (Southeastern) have some nice hitters and play pretty well on defense," she said. "They are beatable, but we'll have to play well to beat them."