By RYAN HINES
The Celina volleyball team tightened its grip on the Western
Buckeye League title as the Bulldogs clinched at least a share
of the title following a 15-6, 15-3 win over Wapakoneta on Tuesday.
It’s the third straight WBL crown for the Bulldogs who
are now 15-3 overall and 8-0 in league play. Celina can clinch
the outright title on Thursday with a win on the road in St.
“Winning a share of the WBL title is a great accomplishment,”
said a happy Celina head coach Nikki Taylor-Etzler. “It
was one of our team goals before the season started, but what
we really want to do is win the WBL outright so we have to keep
our focus and play well to beat a very good St. Marys team on
Wapakoneta falls to 5-14 on the season and 2-5 in the WBL.
Wapakoneta never really put up much of a stand as the Redskins’
nine total points in the two games came as a result of Celina
It wasn’t like Celina made many mistakes during the match,
the mistakes just came at scoring opportunities for Wapakoneta.
Celina led 3-2 before putting a 9-1 run together to jump out
to the 12-3 advantage. Betsy Hone and Jamie Siefker led the
charge for Celina during the run. Hone had three kills while
Siefker added two more kills to highlight the run. Two Celina
errors only delayed a 15-6 first game win.
A barrage of service errors kept the scoring minimal through
the first rotation for both squads, but then Traci Stoner and
Kelsey Fleck changed all that.
Stoner had a block and a kill while Fleck had two kills during
Hone’s service game as the Bulldogs built their lead to
6-0. Wapakoneta clawed back behind two Celina errors, but that
didn’t slow down the Bulldogs multi-dimensional offensive
Holding a 7-2 advantage, Celina rallied for seven straight points
to push its lead to 14-2. Hone again led the charge with four
kills while Megan Harner added an ace during the spurt.
Hone played strong at the net all night long as the freshman
middle-hitter led the Celina offensive attack with 11 kills
while Kelsey Fleck added eight kills and Siefker five kills
with Harner adding two aces.
“Betsy attacked really well and our setter (Stoner) did
a great job of setting our other hitters up as well,”
said Taylor-Etzler. “It’s pretty exciting with the
options that we have on offense with various hitters that we
There’s just one more league game left as the Bulldogs
look to pick up their 23rd WBL title all-time and eighth in
the last decade, and that game is against archrival St. Marys.
“The girls were really ready for this game because it
was senior night and they knew that a share for the league title
was on the line,” said Taylor-Etzler after Tuesday’s
victory. “The girls didn’t celebrate very much after
the match at all because I think that they’re still really
focused on St. Marys. There’s a lot on the line and with
the rivalry with the two cities it should be a great night.
I think that we will be ready to play on Thursday.”