By Don Chipman
The Lady Trojans, making their first appearance in a Sectional playoff since 1993, fought the good fight before falling to an excellent Calhoun team by scores of 25-20, 25-22.
Leading the Lady Blue’s efforts were Kylie McGinnis with 17 service points, 10 kills, and five digs. Kendi Sayre 12 service points, three service aces and 10 digs in the losing cause.
The game was a struggle early on for both teams with the score tied at 4-4, 5-5, and 6-6 with Triopia building a 10-7 lead behind three service points from Katie Evans. Calhoun stayed in the game with four big kills from 6-3 sophomore Emma Baalman, tying the game for the last time at 14-14.
Outside hitter Sam Gerson ran off four straight service points, boosting their margin to 18-14. Triopia stayed with Calhoun and was down only two at 20-18 with a kill from Cydney Musch. The Lady Warriors Emma Baalman served up a service ace, and Grace Baalman came through with another service ace.
Following a long volley by the two teams, the Lady Warriors took a 23-20 lead. Calhoun’s Kassidy Klocke put the game away with a wicked service ace to run the final verdict to 25-20.
“I thought we got intimidated a little bit in the first set by their size at the net,” said Triopia’s head Coach Kelly Johnson. “We settled down in the middle of the first set, but they (Calhoun) took command with their three big girls at the net.”
Triopia came out very determined in every aspect in game two and fought gamely with the giant-sized Lady Warriors. The second set was a back and forth affair with the score tied no less than six times in the early going, the last time at 7-7.
Emma Baalman had a mean kill, and a hard service ace to give the Lady Warriors a breakout at 13-10. Triopia fought back and got within one at 13-12. Calhoun boosted their margin to 19-13 on a couple of kills and a service error, but the Lady Blue got three service points from Katie Evans forcing a Calhoun timeout at 19-16.
Emma Baalman again stepped up her game running off three service points to run the score to 22-16, forcing a Triopia time out. After the time out, Calhoun boosted their lead to 24-19 behind two huge kills by Grace Baalman.
The Lady Blue had one last gasp left, and behind the service of Katie Evans along with a big kill by Kylie McGinnis, pulled within two at 24-22, again forcing Calhoun’s head coach Anna Gilman to use a time out.
Facing the match point at 24-22, coming out of the rest period, Calhoun’s freshman Grace Baalman put down a thunderous spike to end the match 25-22.
Calhoun was paced by sophomore setter Sydnee White (24 assists) who was filling in for standout Maddie Baalman who suffered a serious knee injury in regional play. Grace Baalman led with 12 kills, and Emma Baalman registered 10 kills for the winners.
Triopia Game Stats
Service Points—Kylie Alexander 17, Sydney Meyer 14, Kendi Sayre 12, Megan Lynn 8, Katie Evans 5, Emily Burns 2.
Service Aces—Sayre 3, Myer 1, McGinnis 1
Kills—Cydney Musch 10, McGinnis 10, Meyer 5, Bailey Ganz 3, Elisabeth Werries 2
Assists—Meyer 22, Evans 10
Blocks—McGinnis 2, Werries 1, Musch 1
Digs—Emily Burns 14, Werries 11, Ganz 10, Meyer 6, McGinnis 5