By DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
St. Ursula's Hayley Wiemer and Alison Mugler showed plenty of swagger during yesterday's Division I district championship volleyball match between the defending district champion Arrows and a Central Catholic team looking to avoid losing for a third time this season to its City League rival.
The Arrows' co-captains did not just make their presence felt at the net, they ruled that territory of the court like it was theirs for keeps. They combined for 26 kills to lead top-ranked St. Ursula to a 25-22, 25-15, 25-18 victory over Central at Perrysburg to make it five straight years the Arrows have claimed the district championship.
"A lot of people thought that this was going to be a rebuilding year for us, but we knew that individually certain players could step up this year," said Wiemer, who contributed a team-best 14 kills. "Really, it's a total team game this year."
The Arrows, who improved to 25-0, emphatically answered any questions about winning another district title without all-world Sarah Florian on the court. The Arrows trailed by as many as nine points in the first game before putting together a furious rally to take the opening game away from the Irish and gain total control of the match's momentum.
"I just told them not to panic and continue to play hard," St. Ursula coach John Buck said. "At the beginning of the game I thought it was like two heavyweights going at it. We just had to battle back."
The Arrows will play in a
regional semifinal Thursday night at Norwalk.
Buck admits when the Irish led 17-8 in the first game, he was a little worried.
"I thought once we got it going and won that first game, that was a good body blow," Buck said. "Then we had to keep the pressure on them."
The Irish came out in attack mode, led by senior Janie Reichert. The Irish owned a 21-15 lead before Mugler served for nine unanswered points for a 24-21 Arrows lead. Wiemer finished off the game with a kill block.
"We just stopped being aggressive," Central coach Denise Wiczynski said.
Emily Florian led the Arrows with 20 assists while Jess Dominiak added 19. Mugler had 12 kills and Allison Florian and Tighe Westrick accounted for two aces apiece.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6302.