The Edison Chargers attempted to kick in the door on the Huron volleyball program’s stranglehold of the Sandusky Bay Conference this season and again Tuesday night at Edison High School had a shot at knocking off the Lady Tigers district dominance as well.
However, for a second time in four weeks, Edison found itself with its fingers caught in the door as Huron posted a four-game Division III district semifinal victory and narrowly avoided a fifth and decisive game, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-23.
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The win improves Huron to 19-5 overall while Edison finishes the season at 18-6.
Huron will take on Riverdale (21-2) at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Willard High School with the winner advancing to the regional tournament.
“I knew it would be very hard to get out of here with a win,” Huron head coach Don Wood said. “I didn’t want to play a fifth game here. I think if we would have gotten to a fifth game and being in this gym, we would have had things going against us a lot more.
“There isn’t any advantage to either team in that situation, but being in a Game 5 some familiar surroundings would have been good so I think we may have been in some serious trouble had it gotten that far.”
In Game 4, the Lady Chargers appeared to be on their way to forcing a fifth game after a block at the net by Zoe Gastier gave Edison a 23-21 lead.
However, Edison then had an out of bounds hit and a mis-hit at the net that sandwiched a kill by Huron’s Jesse Miedema to give Huron a 24-23 lead.
The final winning point was clinched when Katlyn Sommer and Kelly Lehrer made a big block at the net to seal another trip to the district title match.
“I gave them something to focus on defensively to do their jobs and not worry about anything else,” Wood said of his team’s focus in thefinalmoments.“One thing this group has done very well is they keep playing regardless of what the score is and it doesn’t affect them a whole lot.”
For Edison coach Sean Hoover, the end result was a familiar one.
“Too many errors,” Hoover said. “We made a lot of unforced errors all year and we preach all the time about how important every ball is, but we just let a few too many of those slip away.”
The opening game proved to be every bit as exciting as the fourth and final game, but it was Edison coming out with the 25-23 instead. The Lady Chargers trailed at one point 9-3 but rallied to eventually take a 19-17 lead.
With the score tied at 21, Edison then got a service error and a mishit by Huron along with a kill by Emily Stewart to give the Lady Chargers a 24-23 lead and the game was sealed by a block at the net by Amanda Blodgett and Whitney Smith.
“Most of the mistakes the two teams made were forced by each other,” Wood said. “It was just a good match that nobody has anything to hang their heads about.”
In Game 2, Huron surged ahead by a 20-15 score and although Edison pulled within 21-18 but the hitting of Miedema down the stretch was too strong as the Lady Tigers scored four of the last six points for a 25-20 win.
In Game 3, Huron broke a 12-12 tie with 13 of the next 19 points as the Lady Chargers struggled with unforced errors and Huron won 25-18.
“We knew where they were going to hit it,” Hoover said. “I thought we did a good job on defense taking it away, but in the end they found a way to score a few more points than we did.
“We gave them a few extra points that they needed or they earned them ... they got what they needed in the end.”
For Huron, Kelly Lehrer became the all-time unofficial assists leader in Ohio history after going 118 of 119 setting with 48 assists while Miedema was 42 of 49 hitting with 20 kills and nine blocks and Taryn Graham was 17 of 17 serving with 20 digs and 11 kills on 28 of 31 hitting.
Also for the Lady Tigers, Erin O’Reilly was 25 of 29 hitting with 10 kills and Devin Koenig was 20 of 21 with eight kills while Melissa Moberg added19 digs and Sommer had eight blocks.
For Edison, Stewart had 20 kills and 12 digs while Cami Shine had nine kills and eight digs and Whitney Smith had 16 assists and eight digs and Amanda Blodgett had six kills and six blocks.
Rachel Ackerman added 22 digs while Brittany Moyer had 15 assists and Gastier added nine.