By Josh Brown
NEW CARLISLE — Not only did Tippecanoe make it eight wins in a row, the Red Devils earned a sectional title game rematch from last season.
They also had to work hard to get there.
After falling behind 2-1 to Urbana during Wednesday’s Division II sectional semifinal matchup at Tecumseh High School, the Tippecanoe volleyball team rallied, holding off the Hillclimbers in the fourth set to force Game 5 then taking charge late in that decisive set to claim a 25-21, 23-25, 11-25, 25-20, 15-10 victory.
“After being down 2-1 in sets and losing badly in the third, we took the lead from the start in the fourth set,” Tippecanoe coach Howard Garcia said. “The deciding set was tied until 9-9 when we took a 12-10 lead on two (Taylor) Prall kills.”
But Garcia also credited his defense with the comeback.
“The saving grace of the match was the great defense by Taylor Braun,” he said of Braun, who had 15 digs in the match.
Alyssa Crusey had 15 kills and three blocks, Aubrey Cox had 10 kills and four blocks and Prall had nine kills, two blocks and two aces to lead the way offensively. Taylor Waltemathe and Jordan McMahan each added 14 digs, with Waltemathe adding two aces, and Kara Trimbach — who broke the Tippecanoe single-season record for assists in the Devils’ first-round win — added 38 assists to that total, which now sits at 713.
Tippecanoe (18-6) will now face division rival Springfield Shawnee for the third time this season in Monday’s sectional championship match. The Devils split the regular season series with the Braves — sweeping them the last time the teams faced off on Oct. 8 — and they’ll be looking for revenge after a four-set loss to Shawnee in last year’s sectional title game.
ME 3, Waynesville 0
BROOKVILLE — The second-seeded Miami East Vikings coasted through Wednesday night’s matchup against Waynesville and into Saturday sectional title game, defeated the Spartans 25-15, 25-21, 25-12 at Brookville High School.
Jonni Parker had 14 kills, 17 assists, six digs and two blocks and Kyndall Hellyer added 15 kills, five digs and two blocks to lead the way. Carly Gump had 19 assists, Lindsey Black had 14 digs and four aces, Taylor McCuiston had nine digs and four kills and Reagan Morrett had four kills and two blocks.
Miami East will face No. 15 Brookville at 6 p.m. Saturday in the sectional title game.
FL 3, TC 0
TIPP CITY — The No. 20 Troy Christian Eagles’ season came to an end in the second round of the Division IV sectional tournament to fourth-seeded Fort Loramie with a 25-16, 25-16, 25-18 loss at Tippecanoe High School.
Fort Loramie moves on to face No. 8 Riverside in Saturday’s sectional final. Troy Christian finished the year with an 8-15 record.
* Boys Soccer
ME 4, NW 1
CASSTOWN — The Miami East boys soccer team already owned one victory over Northwestern this season — but that was back in opening week in August.
Wednesday night, the sixth-seeded Vikings (14-3) started strong then, when the No. 21 Warriors answered, finished strong as well, closing out a 4-1 victory in the opening round of the Division III sectional tournament.
“All in all, I was not too disappointed with the game we played tonight,” Miami East coach Adam Bell said. “I told them before the game that it is always difficult to beat a team twice in one season, especially when you have not seen them since very early in the season. I give a lot of credit to Northwestern. They certainly made us work for it tonight.”
Miami East opened the scoring with 16:52 left in the first half as Connor Wilson ricocheted a corner kick in off of a Warrior player for the only goal of the half. Dalton Taylor then kicked off the second half quickly with a goal 49 seconds in on a combination play from Shelby Elifritz and Kyler Bradley.
But Northwestern (6-9-2) cut the lead to one with 35:13 to play, only to have Taynor score again off of an assist from Elifritz with 29 minutes left to give the Vikings some insurance. Devyn Carson sealed it by putting home a penalty kick with 4:29 remaining.
“Certain aspects definitely could have been much sharper, but in the end we strung together a few runs and got lucky on a couple others,” Bell said. “I think, for the most part, this game got the tournament-time jitters out of our system. (The kids) know that our next match will be very different, and they know what needs to happen for us to advance.”
Miami East will now host No. 13 Brookville Saturday in the tournament’s second round.
M-U 4, NE 0
WEST MILTON — In a matchup of two 20-plus seeds, the No. 20 Milton-Union Bulldogs claimed a first-round Division III sectional tournament victory at home Wednesday night, defeating No. 23 Northeastern 4-0.
With the win, the Bulldogs advanced to take on top-seeded Greeneview Saturday in the tournament’s second round.
Fairmont 4, Piqua 0
KETTERING — The 13th-seeded Piqua Indians’ season came to an end in the first round of the Division I sectional tournament Wednesday night with a 4-0 loss at No. 4 Fairmont.
The Indians also were without their goalkeeper, so sweeper Caleb Vallieu took over the goaltending duties.
To make matters worse, Piqua got a red card 10 minutes into the game, forcing the Indians to play a man short the rest of the way.
“The fact that we had that early adversity call 10 minutes into in the game — they score off the free kick, then they get a PK and Caleb (Vallieu) saves the PK to fire our guys up,” Piqua coach Danny Henry said. “Whether the score was 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0, our guys never quit. That is all you can ask.
“Sometimes the other team is just better than you are. Fairmont came to play tonight, and they were the better team. As long as you play with heart, toy can compete with anybody.”
Vallieu had a strong game in goal.
“Our goal keeper couldn’t be here tonight,” Henry said. “Caleb Vallieu started at sweeper for us for four years. He stepped up tonight, knowing that was our best chance.”
Fairmont will host No. 6 Troy Saturday night in a second-round matchup. Piqua finished the season 6-9-2.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.