By John Bombatch
BEAVERCREEK — With the area coaches about to meet to determine postseason seeding in a little over a week, Beavercreek’s win in straight sets over a very talented Troy team could turn some heads — and precious votes — the Beavers’ way.
The host Beavers handed Troy its first Greater Western Ohio Conference loss of the season, Wednesday night at Beavercreek High School. By minimizing their own errors, while limiting the damage of the hard hitting Trojans, Beavercreek won 25-23, 25-14, 25-21.
Troy, now 13-2, 10-1 GWOC American North) hadn’t lost to a GWOC opponent all season long. Their only loss had been to state-ranked Casstown Miami East.
The Beavers (10-7, 7-2 GWOC National East) came into Wednesday’s match having lost five of their last seven matches to some quality state-ranked opponents and out-of-state powers. The win over Troy may have made the rough patch in the schedule all worth it.
“It was a great win and a great team effort,” Beavers coach Tim Green said. “We’ve had a tough stretch of games here and we played some really good competition. We played Mason and (Cincinnati) Seton, recently. Mason’s a top-5 team in the state. Our record doesn’t necessarily show the quality of team we’ve been playing all of the time. We knew we were the underdogs coming in, and that Troy has a nice program with a lot of kids back from last year with plenty of varsity experience. I just thought we played really well.
“We knew ball control was going to be critical for us, and I thought we blocked really well and got some great touches on them, and we were able to pick some of those up and convert. We haven’t done that much all year, and I thought we did tonight. … We played really really well. I was proud of the girls.”
Unofficially, Sarah Laughman led Beavercreek (10-7, 7-2 GWOC American East) with seven kills to go with two blocks. Lauren Goenaga-Lask unofficially came up with six kills and a block, while Kelly Goenaga-Lask smacked six kills and had four service aces.
Laughman entered the game averaging 1.08 kills per contest.
“It’s a great team win. … We had some players step up after we had some people get injured, and they really stepped up tonight. That’s a testament to our program and how hard we work in practice,” Green said.
The opening set had 15 ties and seven lead changes, but with the score at 23-all, consecutive Troy mishits gave the set to Beavercreek.
The Beavers set the tone early in the second set. With a kill from Kelly Goenaga-Lask to start the frame, then with Beth Boos serving, Beavercreek rolled out to a 4-0 lead — the largest match lead by either team up to that point.
Kills from the Trojans’ Lauren Schmitz and their leading hitter, Camryn Moeller, pulled Troy within two points at 10-8, but then Beavercreek went on a 7-1 scoring run to double up the score, 18-9, for the eventual second-set win.
With Troy needing a win in the third set to continue, the Trojans took advantage of a couple Beavercreek miscues and got out to a 9-6 advantage. With jarring hits from Kelly Goenaga-Lask and teammate Sarah Laughman, the Beavers tied the set at 11-all and then 12-all, then took the lead for good on Spencer Franck’s right-to-left kill. Beavercreek never trailed after that.
“We made a lot of errors. We knew we had a lot on the line with this game, heading into sectional seeding,” Troy coach Michelle Owen said. “If we win, we’re pretty much a number one seed. Lose, and there’s a lot on the line. … In set one, we had almost 20 errors, between block errors, service errors and serve-receive errors. We were just giving them free points.
“And Beavercreek is a scrappy team. You’ve gotta give them a lot of credit. They did a great job of frustrating our key players, not letting them score points, and really finding a way to put balls down. All the credit goes to Beavercreek. They did a great job, forced us out of our system, and our players didn’t respond.”
According to the Southwest District Athletic Board website, the sectional tournament seed meeting will take place on Oct. 9.
Both GWOC powers return to action today. Beavercreek will host Kettering Fairmont at 7 p.m., while Troy will host Greenville at that same time.