READING — East Clinton’s historic volleyball season ended Monday in the Division III Sectional tournament at Reading High School.
SBAAC National Division rival Clermont Northeastern outlasted East Clinton 26-24, 20-25, 25-14, 21-25, 15-13 Monday to win the sectional championship and advance to a match Saturday in the Division III District tournament at Northmont High School.
“We did not play our best game and CNE capitalized on that,” East Clinton head coach Sarah Sodini said. “The girls gave tremendous effort, but we couldn’t finish plays in the front row. We were just a little off our game. However, that doesn’t take away from the amazing season these girls have had. They’ve worked hard throughout and I’m very proud of them and all they’ve done.”
EC and CNE had two heated battles during the National Division season. East Clinton, unbeaten champions of the SBAAC National Division, won both 25-15, 25-15, 25-27, 25-14 and 25-16, 25-11, 15-25, 17-25, 15-12.
Monday’s epic match was not very different.
East Clinton led 12-5 in the first set but the Rockets battled back to within 14-13. The Astros were on top 24-23 but the Rockets scored the final three points to take the first set.
East Clinton won the second set then lost the third set to fall into a 2-1 deficit.
In the fourth set, East Clinton took an early lead, 7-3, and held on to even the match at 2-2.
The Astros led in the decisive fifth set 8-5 and 13-12 but again the Rockets scored the final three points of the set to win the match.
“Even though we weren’t at our best as a team, I want to acknowledge that Kami Whiteaker and Lydia Kessler had their best games of the year (against CNE),” said Sodini.
Whiteaker had six kills, a block and a dig. Kessler finished with a kill and 23 digs.
Also for East Clinton, Trinity Bain had six digs. Megan Tong finished with three aces, two kills, 26 assists and 13 digs. Jozie Jones totaled two kills and a block. Savannah Tolle was a back row machine with 29 digs. Eryn Bowman had a block and seven digs. Lauren Runyon had seven digs, a block and seven kills.
Anna Malone had two blocks and a dig. Libby Evanshine finished with two aces, 29 kills, three blocks, 19 assists and 19 digs. Mckenzie Pence recorded two kills, an assist and two digs. Jordan Collom chipped in five digs while Kelsi Lilly contributed three aces, six kills, four blocks, an assist and two digs.