St. Ursula’s Lauren Daudelin, left, and Elizabeth Coil celebrate a point. The Arrows finished 29-1 with their only loss coming in the Division I state championship.
SPECIAL TO BLADE/SKIP PETERSON
St. Ursula was Ohio’s No. 1 ranked volleyball team during the regular season and was one victory away from making that rating stand up this season.
In his 18th season, coach John Buck guided the Arrows (29-1) to their 10th state final-four appearance in 14 years after winning their third straight Three Rivers Athletic Conference championship (10-0) without a loss.
The Arrows, led by All-Ohio first-teamer Lauran Graves and second-teamer Maurissa Leonard, both juniors, escaped defeat in a hard-fought 3-2 regional semifinal against Chagrin Falls Kenston. They won the regional final and breezed past Columbus DeSales in the state semis before falling 25-27, 25-23, 25-19, 26-24 in a back-and-forth state championship match against Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame at Wright State University.
Central Catholic (16-10) failed to finish in the upper half of the TRAC this season, but got on a late-season roll in the Division II tournament, reaching the regional final before falling to eventual state champion Parma Padua Franciscan.
Bowsher won its third straight City League championship, but the Rebels lost their tournament opener against Southview.
Perrysburg (23-3, 14-0) won the Northern Lakes League title and advanced to the D-I district final before losing to St. Ursula. Northern Buckeye Conference champion Otsego (19-5, 13-1) reached the D-III district semis, where the Knights lost to Archbold.
Toledo Christian (24-3, 12-0) captured the Toledo Area Athletic Conference title, and was one match away from reaching the D-IV state final four for the third time. The Eagles advanced to the regional final before falling to Blanchard Valley Conference champion McComb (27-1).
Archbold (14-12 overall) — which lost out on a chance at a Northwest Ohio Athletic League title after having to forfeit eight match victories at midseason — regrouped to reach the D-III regional semifinals. Evergreen (18-5, 7-1) won the NWOAL crown.
In Michigan, Southeastern Conference Red Division champion Bedford (65-10-2) advanced to the Class A state semifinals before falling 26-28, 25-14, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11 against Bloomfield Hills Marian.
Tri-County Conference champion Whiteford (45-8-2) reached the Class C state quarterfinals, where the Bobcats rolled to a 2-0 lead in games before losing to Oakland Hills Christian 19-25, 9-25, 27-25, 25-17, 15-8.
— Steve Junga