By Rob Kiser
Call Sports Editor
The Piqua volleyball team is in the GWOC semifinals for the first time – and coach Chris Davis remained undefeated with his new “do”.
Piqua defeated Miamisburg 25-12, 25-22, 21-25, 25-17 with Davis sporting a blonde dye-job.
“I made a bet with the girls last week,” Davis said. “That was a pretty big week for us. First, we had Lebanon who was ranked 20th in the state at the time.
“Then, we had Greenville, who mentally believed they could beat us. And then, we had Troy for the GWOC North title. So, I bet them if we won all three matches, I would dye my hair. It is worth it.”
Thursday’s win gave Piqua a 2-0 record in pool play, advancing them to a semifinal match Tuesday against the Centerville-Vandalia-Butler winner.
“The girls were kind of blah in the locker room,” Davis said. “I told them they should be pumped – we are in the GWOC semifinals. They said they were, but I really didn’t see it. I am sure on the inside they are.”
And the Indians came out on fire in the first game – maybe too much so.
“We kind of cruised through that game pretty quickly,” Davis said. “I think the girls kind of relaxed.”
Piqua had to rally from a 16-10 deficit the second game, taking the lead for the first time on a Jasmine Davis kill and Makayla Carnes block on Sarah Palmer’s serve to break a 21-21 deadlock.
After a kill for sideout by Brooke Reinke to make it 24-22, Davis finished it from the service line.
But, Piqua couldn’t get out of an 18-11 hole the third game, losing 25-22.
“The girls relaxed a little in the second game,” Davis said. “Then, we thought we could come back in the third game and found out we couldn’t. I told the girls that is what is going to happen when you don’t play defense.
“We have been working on reading hitters tendency’s and taking that away from them.”
The defense picked up in the fourth game, as the Lady Indians never trailed.
Aided by a Shelby Vogler kill, Tasha Potts served three straight points, including an ace, to make it 24-16 and a Carnes kill finished it..
While Reinke and Vogler led the hitters, the Indians offense is becoming more balanced with each match.
“It is that time in the season,” Davis said. “We do drills every day in practice. Jasmine (Davis) is becoming more confident in them (the middles and right side hitters) and they are becoming more confidence.”
Reinke had 18 kills, 10 digs, two blocks and three aces; while Vogler had 16 kills and 16 digs.
Davis had 40 assists, five kills, three blocks and 18 digs; while Carnes had five blocks and Potts added four.
“That is a big night for us blocking,” Davis said. “When we get a block, it is like three points with our size.”
Piqua, 15-3, now has a tri Saturday at St. Henry with the Lady Redskins, ranked number on in the state in Division IV and Lima Senior.
“We play Lima Senior first,” Davis said. “So, that is where my focus is right now.”
Hoping his new look continues to be a winning one.