BROOKVILLE —The Preble Shawnee volleyball team saw its season come to an end in a second-round loss to Northeastern in the sectional tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at Brookville High School.
The Arrows were never able to establish runs in the match despite playing Northeastern even most of the time.
The teams were even after 16 points in the first set as both took eight points. The Arrows then found themselves on the wrong side of a run as Northeastern managed to take nine of the next 11 points to make it 17-10.
The set finished 25-15 as the teams traded the final 12 points of the set.
The second set saw a similar theme play out. The squads were tied at 10 each when Northeastern rattled off another run. This time the run took the game from 10-10, to 16-12, to 25-15 as Northeastern took 15 of the final 20 points.
The Arrows never stopped playing hard despite the inability to establish any sort of momentum in the match. The third set started with Northeastern establishing a 6-3 lead.
The teams played even when Shawnee began to show signs of gaining momentum after cutting the lead to two at 20-18. Northeastern however finished the game and the Arrows’ season by scoring the next five points to take the match in straight sets.
“I thought they were a good all-around team,” head coach Kristi Cottingim said of their opponent. “They played well tonight and with a lot more energy than when we saw them play Milton-Union earlier in the tournament.”
Cottingim also said her team failed to challenge their opponents throughout the game. “Its unfortunate my team didn’t have a good night with serve reception — we didn’t challenge enough, we didn’t attack aggressively enough tonight,” she said.
The Arrows were one of the youngest, if not the youngest team, in the sectional according to Cottingim. “Our inexperience showed tonight,” she explained. “I had girls who had never played in the tournament. I bet there is not another team in this whole sectional who only had two girls play in the tournament before.”
The Arrows finish the season 6-6 in the SWBL and 10-12 overall as the team only loses one senior to graduation in Madison Elkins.
“She’s the toughest player I’ve ever coached,” Cottingim said of her lone senior. “She doesn’t whine, she doesn’t complain — as a hitter it can be frustrating if you’re not getting set, but she never complained and only asked ‘what I can do better?’ — that is the epitome of her and we are going to miss her.”
Cottingim is excited about the off-season after a solid learning year for her young team. “I think that we are so much further along starting this summer than what we were this past summer.”
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.