Columbia Raiders can't hold off Trinity Trojans

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Trinity’s Dahlia Najja, left, tips the ball around Columbia’s Shelby Friedel in the second game of Tuesday night’s Division III Elyria Sectional Tournament match.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Columbia’s Megan Hawke, left, spikes the ball past Trinity’s Nicole Greisl in the first game of Tuesday night’s Division III Sectional tournament match.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Columbia's Nicole Baytosh, left, and Shelby Friedel get ready to block Trinity's Nicole Greisl shot in the first game of Tuesday night's Division III Sectional Tournament match.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Columbia's Jenna Guth returns a volley in the second game of Tuesday night's Division III Sectional Tournament match.

ELYRIA — Columbia held a two-point lead late in the third game of Tuesday’s Division III Sectional semifinal against Trinity tied at one game apiece. Trinity called a timeout, and came all the way back to steal the game, and the Raiders never recovered as they fell 25-15, 17-25, 25-20, 25-16.

After splitting the first two games, Columbia (7-16) held a 20-18 lead over the Trojans (14-9) before Trinity coach Terry Spilker called a timeout. Trinity responded with seven straight points to stun Columbia and take a 2-1 lead.

“There was no energy on the team the first couple of sets,” Spilker said. “I don’t know why. They got out of school early today. Maybe that was it — too much time off.”

Columbia coach Ali Bakos felt the main reason for Trinity’s run was that her team stopped communicating to each other, which they had done very well earlier in the match, when their defense was more in synch.

“We could’ve done better,” Bakos said. “Trinity was very scrappy and they were able to move the ball and place the ball where we had an open hole.”

Trinity took the momentum from that late run in Game 3 and started strong in the clinching game, leading by seven points early on at 12-5. The Trojans kept Columbia at bay throughout the final game and eventually closed them out 25-16 thanks to one of a team-high nine kills from freshman Sydney Fecko.

Spilker feels the strength of his team is that everyone on the floor, including libero Tricia Meeks, has the ability to hit the ball with authority.

“I like all the players on my teams to be aggressive,” Spilker said. “I like to utilize everybody swinging at the ball. I usually tell everyone, ‘Everybody should be in position to take a swing, even on a second ball.’

“Everybody tries to be aggressive. When you’ve got a libero who can swing like that, you try to take advantage of that.”

Columbia bounced back from a tough opening game and took advantage of Trinity’s lack of energy early in the match combined with several unforced errors. The Raiders raced out to a 13-3 lead led by some great net play from sophomore Shelby Friedel, who led all players with five blocks.

The Trojans cut the lead to two at 15-13, but Gina DeBlasis stepped up from the service line, hitting two of her three aces to build the lead back out to 20-13. The front line finished the job to tie it up for the Raiders.

“The best thing we could’ve done was communicate with each other and when you communicate, you know what each other is doing,” Bakos said. “You know where to place the ball, where the block’s going up and where you need to hit.”

Emily Viccarone led the Raiders in digs with 13 and tied with fellow junior Megan Hawke with nine kills.

Bakos wants her team to become a scrappier team heading into 2013.

“We need to be able to get down, not just hit the ball, but be able to recover from their hits,” she said.

Trinity 3, Columbia 1

Division III Elyria District

Sectional Semifinal

Trinity (14-9) 25 17 25 25

Columbia (7-16) 15 25 20 16

Stat Leaders

HITTING — T: Sydney Fecko 9 kills, Claire McCarthy 9 kills; C: Emily Viccarone 9 kills, Megan Hawke 9 kills; SETTING — T: Ciara Parasiliti 32 assists; SERVING — T: McCarthy 7 aces; C: Gina DeBlasis 3 aces; DIGS — T: Tricia Meeks 13; C: Viccarone 13; BLOCKS — C: Shelby Friedel 5.


Last Updated: 10/16/2012 11:14:59 PM EST

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