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Published: Thursday, 12/1/2011

SIDELINES: VOLLEYBALL

St. Ursula reaches state volleyball final

Findlay, Bedford in semis

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Madison Strall, center, leaps to celebrate with teammates after St. Ursula won a Division I state semifinal over Cuyahoga Walsh Jesuit in Fairborn, Ohio. The Arrows, who won last year's state title, lost in the final. Madison Strall, center, leaps to celebrate with teammates after St. Ursula won a Division I state semifinal over Cuyahoga Walsh Jesuit in Fairborn, Ohio. The Arrows, who won last year's state title, lost in the final.
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Teams on both sides of the border reached state volleyball semifinals.

St. Ursula, the defending Division I state champion, ran its winning streak to 48 matches before losing 3-1 in the state championship match to Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame.

The Three Rivers Athletic Conference champion Arrows (28-1), who made their eighth state final-four appearance since 2000 under coach John Buck, were well represented on the All-Ohio team. Seniors Cassidy Croci and Madison Strall were named to the first and second teams, respectively, and junior Maddie Burnham received third-team honors. John Buck, in his 16th season with the Arrows, was selected as coach of the year.

TRAC runner-up Findlay (22-6) lost to Mount Notre Dame 3-1 in the D-I state semifinals.

In Michigan, Bedford (65-11-1) advanced to the Class A state semifinals under veteran coach Jodi Manore before falling to Rockford. The Mules were Southeastern Conference Red Division champions for the 10th time in 12 years.

Bedford's Emily Blank was named all-state first team, while Ellen Hays was second team and Emily Williams on the third team.

Other area league champions were Bowling Green (18-5, 14-0), which won its eighth straight Northern Lakes League title; Bowsher (18-3, 10-0), which won its first City League crown since 1998; Eastwood (22-3, 14-0), which captured the first Northern Buckeye Conference crown after winning title shares in 2009 and 2010 in the former Suburban Lakes League; Toledo Christian (20-4, 12-0), which repeated its title in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference, and Archbold (16-8, 8-0) which edged Evergreen (23-3, 7-1) for the Northwest Ohio Athletic League championship. Evergreen was the last NWOAL team standing in tourney play, however, reaching the Division III regional semifinals.



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