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Updated 6:15 a.m., Perrysburg volleyball loses to top-ranked St. Ursula (10-24-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Thursday, 24 October 2013 20:44
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Perrysburg's Chole Matuga (16) bumps the ball during a game against Saint Ursula. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Perrysburg’s volleyball team had a taste of the district tournament this week.
The Yellow Jackets are hoping it won’t be the only time.
They believe the experience is one they can build on.
Perrysburg’s season ended Thursday with a 25-15, 25-15, 25-19 loss to top-ranked and undefeated Toledo St. Ursula in the championship match of the Division I district tournament at the Stroh Center.
The ninth-ranked Yellow Jackets finished 23-3, two of the losses coming to the Arrows.
The loss ended Perrysburg’s 20-match winning streak.  PHOTO GALLERY
The Yellow Jackets hadn’t lost since dropping a four-set decision to Clay Aug. 31, but they avenged that loss in a district semifinal Tuesday.
“I want the returners to remember and learn from this experience,” said Perrysburg coach Jamie Babcock, who is in her fourth season. “This is a big stage to play on and something we’re not familiar with.”
The Yellow Jackets, in the district tournament for the first time since 2006 when they lost in the state semifinals, steadily improved and played consistently well this season.
On the other hand, the Arrows (26-0) advanced to the regional for the 13th time in 14 seasons.
Perrysburg has a strong core returning next season, although it has to replace three key seniors — defensive specialist Madi Nitschke, libero Graesyn Pawlak and setter Chloe Matuga.
“For them to be so young and get this experience now, they’ll only be better next time and we’ll be back,” Babcock said.
The Yellow Jackets won the Northern Lakes League championship with a 14-0 record after being expected to finish no higher than second or third in the league. Perrysburg returned six letter winners, but was hit hard by graduation.
“These girls put in a lot of time, a lot of hard work and shocked a lot of people,” Babcock said. “I’m proud of them. The community is so proud of them. They did great things this season.”
Perrysburg played well enough against the Arrows to beat most teams.
Unfortunately, the Yellow Jackets were playing a team with no weaknesses. The Arrows’ offense has multiple weapons, they’re terrific defensively, and they serve and pass well.
The Arrows had posted a 25-21, 21-25, 25-14, 25-22 win at Perrysburg Aug. 26.
“It was a complete match for us,” Arrows’ coach John Buck said of the district final. “This is the first time we’ve played from the first game through the third game without any letup.
“That’s a good team over there,” Buck added, referring to Perrysburg.
Elizabeth Coil led the Arrows with 13 kills, while Maurissa Leonard had 19 digs, and Emily Lydey had 19 assists.
“They’re a great defensive team,” Babcock said. “They put up a good block and nothing hits the floor. There’s a reason they’re number one. That’s part of their game plan, just to keep the ball off the floor and extend the rallies. They did a great job of that and they made us take a lot of swings. We just weren’t aggressive enough with the swings we were taking and that allowed them to return it.
”Being aggressive was part of our game plan and we didn’t follow through on it,” Babcock added. “They took advantage of it.”
Perrysburg’s leaders were: Audra Appold, 10 kills, 12 digs; Savannah Miller, eight kills, 11 digs; Pawlak, 19 digs; Matuga, 29 assists; and Mackenzie Pohlman, three blocks.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 October 2013 11:10
 

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