|Perrysburg clinches tie for NLL volleyball title (10-3-13)|
|Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 03 October 2013 19:01|
The Yellow Jackets made sure the win didn't go to waste 48 hours later.
Although Perrysburg wasn't sharp, it still played well enough to post a 25-10, 25-16, 25-21 win over Northview to clinch a share of the Northern Lakes League championship.
The Yellow Jackets, ranked ninth in Division I, are 12-0 in the NLL with two matches left.
They can clinch the outright title by beating Southview or Maumee next week or if Springfield loses one of its final two matches.
Springfield is second in the NLL at 10-2 and every other team has at least three losses. PHOTO GALLERY
The Yellow Jackets' 25-21, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21 win at Springfield - the defending NLL champion - put them in position to clinch a title tie against Northview. Had Springfield won, the teams would have been tied.
Perrysburg was in control of the first two sets against Northview, but overcame a 20-16 deficit in the third set to close out the match.
Even though the Yellow Jackets didn't play well, Northview had a hand in that as it competed hard and played well defensively.
Perrysburg is 19-2 overall, including 16 straight wins. It hasn't lost since Aug. 31.
"We put everything we had into Springfield, but we knew we had to come back and finish tonight," said Perrysburg's Audra Appold, who had 12 kills, 12 digs and two aces. "This match was just as big as Springfield. "We've worked really hard to get to this point and we didn't want to lose. We knew we had to create our own energy, and find a way to win."
The Yellow Jackets had a balanced offense as Savannah Miller added eight kills and Shannon Fastnacht had six. Chloe Matuga had 30 assists.
"We spread our offense out really well and did a good job of distributing the ball, which well help us in the long run," Perrysburg coach Jamie Babcock said.
Madi Nitschke and Graesyn Pawlak each had nine digs for Perrysburg, while Matuga and Miller both had seven. Fastnacht had two blocks.
"We set a goal early in the year just to get better every day," Babcock said. "For them to embrace that and buy into it, really shows their character and the people they are. Everything has come together this season."
Perrysburg has played consistently well to win its first league title since 1994, although it advanced to the state semifinals in 2006.
"I'm so proud of the team," said Babcock, who is in her fourth season. "We're solid in every area and we have everyone contributing; that's what makes us such a good team."
The Yellow Jackets expected to contend for the NLL title as they returned five letter winners from last season when they went 19-5 overall and finished second in the league.
The returnees were seniors Pawlak, Matuga and Nitschke, and juniors Appold and Mackenzie Pohlman.
In 2011, Perrysburg also was 19-5 overall and second in the NLL at 11-3.
"You always set winning the league as a goal, but what we did differently was how to meet that goal," Babcock said, adding the team set smaller goals this season.
The team's goals were to improve every day, be a great serve receive team, and have a defensive mentality.
"If you do those things, a league championship will follow," Babcock said.
Perrysburg has three seniors, seven juniors and three sophomores in the varsity lineup.
The teams's remaining goals are the outright NLL title, an undefeated league season, and a long run in the tournament.
"We're really balanced," Appold said. "We can put the ball wherever and we have good hitters. We have good passers. We have a good defense. We're really balanced which helps us win the tough matches. Everyone trusts each other to do their job and contributes to the success of the team."
|Last Updated on Friday, 04 October 2013 07:58|
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