By MARC TOBIAS
FINDLAY — Parkway’s Cinderella run in the Division
III volleyball tournament came to an end last night, as the
Panthers fell 15-10, 15-9 to Margaretta in the regional semifinals
at Liberty-Benton High School.
The Panthers had their chances, as they trailed just 11-10 in
the first game and 11-9 in the second game, but their bid to
continue their dream tournament run came up just shy.
“I told the girls everybody counted us out except ourselves,
and that’s what was great about this team. Our team chemistry
from the get go has been great,” said Parkway coach Todd
Henkle. “Once we kind of sparked that winning at Wayne
Trace in sectionals, it kept culminating in wins and the girls
found out if they played a whole match that they could put it
together and string together some wins. We as the coaching staff
knew we had the talent, it was just a matter of when it was
going to come together. It was kind of fun to watch things come
together right here at the end of the season.”
Entering the match, Parkway had a major height advantage, as
four of Margaretta’s six starters were under 5-feet-6
inches tall, with three of those at 5-foot-3.
The Polar Bears were scrappy, though, and didn’t give
Parkway too many easy points.
“Defense is what Margaretta is known for, and they just
don’t let a lot of balls hit the floor,” Henkle
said. “You just have to try and find their spots and get
as many swings in as you can. They play a real unorthodox defense
as it is, their setter plays defense on the left side of the
court, which you never see. So we tried to take advantage of
that, but it’s something that if you don’t play
it all year, it’s all of sudden hard to change that.”
Parkway did build an early 3-0 lead in game one behind a pair
of Deidre Adams aces.
Margaretta then rallied behind one of their taller players in
5-foot-11 Micki Kuns, to take an 8-5 lead. Kuns had a great
night hitting the ball as she recorded 12 kills, two blocks
and an ace to lead Margaretta. Kuns then had a block for a 9-6
Polar Bears lead, and a kill to extend the lead to 10-6.
“Micki has led us in kills most of the year, and we go
to her a lot as you can tell, and towards the end we tried to
maybe give them a couple different looks and attack from a different
spot, but she did a great job,” said Margaretta coach
Parkway responded, as a Cassie Steinbrunner kill cut the deficit
to three at 10-7, and then Amanda Jutte was able to win three
points off her serve to cut the lead down to one.
A Kuns kill made it 12-10 Polar Bears, and then Margaretta’s
Betsy McGory fired three straight aces to end the first game
“We like to have some of our tough servers back there,
because we feel we have to be aggressive and score off the serve
at times,” Orwig said.
Parkway’s service game wasn’t quite as strong last
night, which helped lead to an early 3-0 deficit in the second
game as they misfired on their first three service chances.
“Tonight we just had too many service errors, probably
five the first game and six in the second, and you just can’t
when you have a hitter like Kuns, when she’s in the back
row we have to be getting the ball in and scoring some points,”
Parkway once again fought back to tie the game at 5-5 on a Rebekah
Roehm kill, and then took a 6-5 lead on a Abby Harner kill.
Roehm led the Panthers with eight kills.
Margaretta then got a sideout and four straight Parkway missed
shots put the Polar Bears in the lead at 9-6.
The Panthers got as close as 11-9 when Adams won three straight
points off her serve, but Parkway’s passing down the stretch
was a little off and Margaretta eventually closed the game 15-9
on one of Jordie Meyers’ six kills.
“I think at those points (at the end of both games), we
kind of got out of our serving errors, it was a matter of blocking
Kuns in bounds,” Henkle said. “I think she hit a
couple off our hands that went outside the court, and just getting
some crucial sets to our middles and putting the ball away right
there. They stepped up their defense and wouldn’t let
anything hit the floor, and that kind of stymied us right there
at those two points.”
Parkway ends its season at 10-16 while Margaretta improves to
21-5. The Polar Bears await the winner of the Wellington (20-4)
and Genoa (22-3) in the regional final Saturday at 2 p.m.