ELIDA — Each time North Central looked to gain the momentum, Leipsic abruptly shut the door on the Eagles.
Leipsic defeated North Central in three sets Thursday night – 25-15, 25-20, 25-17 – in a Division IV regional semifinal volleyball match at the Elida Fieldhouse.
Leipsic (22-3) will face Tiffin Calvert (26-0) for a Division IV regional title Saturday at 2 p.m at the Elida Fieldhouse. North Central ends its season, 21-4.
In the first regional semifinal Thursday at the Elida Fieldhouse, Tiffin Calvert fought off Fort Recovery (21-4) for a four-set victory – 25-21, 25-19, 30-32, 25-17.
Leipsic stepped up when it needed to, against North Central.
“Liz (Elizabeth Scheckelhoff) had a fantastic game,” Leipsic head coach Brent Newell said. “That’s one of her better games that she’s had in a long time. This was a good time for that. Hopefully, that will help her confidence for Saturday. She played excellent tonight.”
On the night, Scheckelhoff, a 6-foot, 1-inch senior middle-hitter, recorded 12 kills. Teammate Marisa Hermiller hammered 10 kills for the Vikings.
It was a slow start for Leipsic in the first set.
The Vikings were down 5-2, early on, but they battled back.
After trailing 6-4, Leipsic mounted an 11-0 run to take a 15-6 lead. The Vikings went on for the 10-point first-set victory.
Scheckelhoff knocked down four kills in that first set.
“I think what didn’t help us any, was the first set,” Newell said. “We spiked the ball out of bounds five times and we missed three serves. So, that allowed them to keep it close, early.”
North Central started strong in the second set.
However, after the score was tied four times, Leipsic took over.
The Vikings’ largest lead was seven points, as they held off the Eagles down the stretch to take a 2-0 lead.
Scheckelhoff had five kills in the second set. Hermiller recorded four kills.
In the third and decisive set, Leipsic took control early and never looked back.
Last season, Leipsic bowed out of the postseason tournament with a loss to Miller City in the district finals.
Two years ago, Leipsic was defeated by Tiffin Calvert in the regional championship match.
Now, Leipsic quickly turns its focus on Saturday’s huge matchup with Tiffin Calvert, who is the No. 2 ranked team in the state (Division IV).
“We know we have our hands full,” Newell said. “They’re a great team. They haven’t lost a match all year. So, we’ll have a busy day tomorrow (at practice).”
Tiffin Calvert 3,
Fort Recovery 1
It was a hard-fought four sets, but state-power Tiffin Calvert staved off Fort Recovery for the victory.
In all, the score was knotted 25 times on the night.
In the first set, the score was knotted six times, before Tiffin Calvert finally pulled away for the four-point victory.
In the second set, it went back-and-forth, and the score was tied 11 times. Fort Recovery held a three-point lead, a couple times in the second set.
However, Tiffin Calvert battled back and slipped out with the hard-fought six-point second-set victory.
In the third set, Fort Recovery jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Whitley Rammel had two kills to jump-start Fort Recovery. Rammel had five kills in the third set. She recorded 13 kills on the night.
Calvert came roaring back in the third set.
However, Fort Recovery responded to each Calvert run.
The score was knotted up eight times, before Fort Recovery finally came away with the win
Paige Fortkamp had eight kills for Fort Recovery in the third set. Fortkamp ended the night with eight kills.
Hannah Miller led Calvert with five kills in that third set. Miller had 13 kills on the night.
“We just let the pressure get the best of us today,” Fort Recovery head coach Travis Guggenbiller said. “Hats off to Tiffin. They’re a great, athletic team.
“But our girls didn’t give up. And that’s what we’ve been doing all year. We keep fighting. We keep working hard.”
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