LIMA — Volleyball is all about location and the better players can place the ball the better success they can achieve.
Defiance knocked off Van Wert in the opener of the Division II sectional tournament held at Lima Senior while Shawnee surprised top-seeded Celina in the nightcap.
Shawnee, behind a stellar performance by senior Bethany Pohjala, knocked off the Bulldogs by scores of 25-16, 25-23, 17-25, 17-25, 15-12 to grab the victory.
Pohjala got lots of help from fellow senior Ashley Strawn and junior Shay Wilkerson in pacing the Indians win.
Pohjala totaled 15 kills, four blocks, and four aces, Strawn had 14 assists and eight kills while Wilkerson added 13 kills.
“We came out and we really wanted it and we played that way,” Shawnee coach Amy Knight said. “Celina is intimidating and we got a little tired. Bethany (Pohjala) played like she owned the court and when she does that it is a beautiful thing.”
The Bulldogs bounced back after losing the first two games and claimed the third and fourth game, but the Indians regrouped and closed out the match with a 15-12 win in the fifth and deciding game.
“We have struggled all year with falling behind so we are used to having to come back,” Celina coach Amy Sutter said. “Our own errors caused the problems we had in the first two games but I am proud of the way we came back.”
Shawnee will return to action at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Liberty-Benton.
In the opening match, Defiance knocked off Van Wert 27-25, 25-23, 14-25, 25-18.
Defiance had problems with its’ serving and, as a result, struggled but managed to win the first two games.
“We have been a good serving team but had trouble today, we were excited and got in a hurry,” Defiance coach Brooke Shindler said. “But give them credit, they kept us off balance with their defense.”
The Bulldogs (13-11) were led by Megan Sewell who had six blocks and 10 kills, Demma Strausbaugh with three blocks and 10 kills, Paige Mathewson with 15 assists, and Cassidy Held with 18 assists.
The Cougars, who bow out at 13-10, fought back but were unable to overcome the deficit.
“They are tall and our defense was unable to stop them at the net,” Van Wert coach Vicki Smith said. “Our offense uses everybody and we have to be quick to get set up.”
The Cougars were led by Amanda Coplin, who totaled 10 kills and 15 assists, Riley Jones with 15 assists, and Claire Gamble and Sydney Collins with 11 and 13 digs in the match.
Defiance returns to action at Liberty-Benton at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.