OXFORD — What looked like a good matchup “on paper” turned out to be exactly that as the Talawanda varsity volleyball team hosted Little Miami to open Southwest Ohio Conference action. The Lady Braves came into the match with a 4-1 record, having won three in a row. Little Miami was also 4-1 coming in.
Despite a quick start by Talawanda, winning the first game 25-15, it took five games to decide the match. Ultimately, Talawanda came away with the win, 3-2. The match was held on Thursday, Sept. 1.
Talawanda came out strong in the opening game cruising to a 25-15 win. But Little Miami slowly built momentum in game two and held off a late-game Talawanda surge to win 25-23 and even the match at 1-1.
Little Miami carried the momentum into game three, winning 25-18, taking a 2-1 advantage going into the third game. The Lady Braves regrouped in game four with a 25-12 win and then went on to take the match 15-12 in the final game.
According to coach Ruchelle Dunwoody, senior setter Katlynn Woodruff recorded 45 assist on the day by “establishing a balanced offense that featured a couple of players in double-digit kills.” Mallory Elliott led the way with 15 kills and 12 digs; Valerie Green 12 kills, 13 digs and 8 aces; Jordan Chase has 9 kills and Jessica Dingledine finished with 7 kills.
The defense was anchored by seniors Gabriella Lindley who had 13 digs, Olivia Lauer with 17 and Katlynn Woodruff with 18.
“Our match (today) was a classic example of the importance of serving and passing in volleyball,” coach Ruchelle Dunwood said.
“When we were able to consistently receive serve, we were able to get our hitters great swings. But even when our opponents put us in challenging situation, the team never wavered. They were resilient until the end, which speaks highly of the leadership of our senior class.”
“It was a great start to our conference campaign and I look forward to our continued growth as a team,” she added.
After Thursday’s action, Talawanda joined Ross and Northwest as the three remaining teams unbeaten in SWOC play. The Lady Braves schedule includes three games this week. They were set to host Harrison on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and then travel to Mt. Healthy on Thursday. They will play a non-conference match against Badin at home on Saturday, Sept. 10.
Talawanda’s varsity football team traveled to Hamilton for a Saturday evening game against Badin High School on September 4. The Braves fell to 0-2 on the season suffering a 38-7 loss to the Rams.
“Obviously Saturday night was disappointing because we were not able to execute well enough to win against a quality opponent like Badin.” Coach JD Vonderheide commented.
With the game scoreless in the first quarter, Badin put 17 points on the scoreboard in the final three minutes of the period, with help from Talawanda turnovers. Badin opened the scoring with a field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Less than a minute later they got the ball back and scored their first touchdown to push the lead to 10-0. The Rams capped off the quarter with a fumble recovery which they took in for a touchdown and a 17-0 advantage.
Badin scored again in the second quarter to take a 24-0 lead with just over five minutes to play in the half.
Talawanda scored a touchdown with just over a minute to play in the period closing the gap to 24-7. THS quarterback Logan Kamphaus connected with Andrew O’Donnell for a 17-yard score.
Badin, however, thwarted any Talawanda attempt to gain momentum, closing out the half with another score on a 49-yard touchdown run.
“Early on in the game we hung in there and battled well,” Vonderheide commented, “but then a string of turnovers in their territory led to quick scores for them that put us in position to play from behind — but more importantly we lost a lot of momentum.”
“We are a team that is still trying to find itself, though it might not seem like it there were a lot of positive things we did in the game that we can build off of, unfortunately those positives were overshadowed by turnovers and missed assignments. My hats off to Badin, they had a good plan and simply executed better than we did.”
Kamphaus finished the game with 22 completions in 30 attempts for 131 yards and a touchdown. O’Donnell led the team in receiving with nine catches for 64 yards, followed by Luke Croucher with eight receptions for 52 yards.
For the second straight week, the Talawanda running game was held in check. The Braves managed just 48 yards on 21 carries. Also similar to last week’s game, the Braves opponents found success on the ground. Badin ran for 226 yards on 35 carries.
Talawanda returns home on Friday, Sept. 9, hosting Eaton. Both teams will enter the game looking for the first win of the season.
Vonderheide added, “The Beauty of football is that we have another opportunity this week, against a traditionally solid opponent in Eaton. I’ve always said that they are one of the best coached teams we play and they always get the most out of their players.
“Our focus this week is to build off of the positives and improve the things we struggled with. We need to become a more consistent team as a whole. We are excited to get back into the routine of Friday night games and to play at home. I anticipate a physical hard fought battle Friday night between two teams striving to get into the ‘W’ column for the first time in 2016.”
The Talawanda boys’ golf team pushed its record to 8-2 overall, defeating Harrison, 176-185, on Thursday, Sept 1. The win evened Talawanda’s Southwest Ohio Conference record, 1-1, one game behind conference leader Little Miami.
In the match, Charlie Winkler led the Braves with a 40 followed by Vincent Whitehead with a 43.
After last week’s action, Little Miami leads the SWOC standings at 2-0, followed by Harrison (3-1) and Talawanda and Edgewood (1-1). Little Miami defeated Talawanda by two strokes (173-175) on Tuesday, Aug. 30, breaking a Braves’ five-match winning streak.
Talawanda team scores for the week: Monday, Talawanda 164, Taylor 192; Tuesday, Little Miami 173, Talawanda 175: Wednesday, Talawanda 160, Reading 239 ; Thursday, Talawanda 176, Harrison 185.
The Braves have just one match schedule for this week. They will host Edgewood on Thursday, Sept. 8, at Hueston Woods Golf Course.
The Talawanda boys’ soccer team was shut out in its only match of the week. The Braves hosted Hamilton and were defeated 2-0. Talawanda will be back in action on Thursday, Sept. 8, at home against Little Miami, their first SWOC matchup. They travel to Badin on Saturday, starting at 7 p.m.
The Lady Braves evened their overall record at 2-2-1 with a big win over Franklin County (IN), on Saturday, Sept. 3. Talawanda jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 6-0 win. Earlier in the week, the team played Middletown to a 0-0 tie.
The Lady Braves open SWOC play on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at home against Little Miami. After six games, Little Miami is 5-1, 1-0 in the conference. Talawanda will be busy the following week as they are scheduled to play Sept. 13, 14 and 17, all SWOC matches.
Talawanda cross country teams traveled to Miamisburg on Saturday, Sept. 3 for the Miamisburg Cross Country Invitational. The Braves will travel to Eaton on Saturday, Sept. 17, for the Eaton Invitational.
The Talawanda girls’ cross country team finished 7th out of 20 teams with a score of 248. Host team Miamisburg won the meet (71), followed by Oakwood (74) and Springfield Shawnee (78).
As a team the Lady Braves placed runners in the following places, 27-35-40-61-85. Girls individual results (based on team scoring): 27th: Lizzie Sawdai, 20:59.0; 35th: Jazz Bennett, 21:33.0; 40th: Nina Stahr. 21:41.3; 61st: Ashley Baxter, 122:38.9; 85th: Mary Kate Huddleston, 23:49.6.
In the boys’ race, the Braves finished 13th overall. Elder dominated the meet with 46 points, placing all five scoring runners in the top 12 places. In team scoring Talawanda finished with 343 points placing runners in the following, 52-60-66-77-88. Boys’ individual results (based on team scoring): 52nd: Connor Schlade, 17:58.4; 60th: Josh Ferneding, 18:09.0; 66th: David Krausher, 18:21.5; 77th: Josh Huddleston, 18:44.1; 88th: Dylan Shumway, 18:59.5.
The Talawanda girls’ tennis team won back-to-back Southwest Ohio Conference matches last week defeating Harrison and Little Miami. The wins give the Lady Braves an early 2-0 record and keep them one of two teams unbeaten in conference play. Ross is also 2-0 early in the season.
Talawanda defeated Harrison 4-1 on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at home. They followed with a second 4-1 win over Little Miami on Thursday.
Next week will be a busy one for the squad, playing three matches in a row. They were scheduled to travel to Mount Healthy on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and then host Badin and Edgewood on Wednesday and Thursday.
(Some information provided by the Southwest Ohio Conference website)