by Julie LaFollette
Lady Zeps are Heading to the Final Four with Win in Regional Finals
The Shenandoah Lady Zeps took on Plain City Shekinah Christian in the D IV Regional finals at Pickerington North High School on Saturday, punching their ticket to State with a three-set win, 25-20, 25-11, 25-18.
This is the first time a team from Shenandoah has reached the Final Four in any sport. The 2019 Lady Zeps were the Regional runners up for the previous best finish for a Shenandoah volleyball team.
Shenandoah Head Coach Megan Grywalski is very proud of her team. “This is a really good group to achieve this. They have been playing together a long time, especially the seniors. They are good leaders and all-around good girls. These girls are a really good example to the younger players.”
“We have done this a lot this year,” Coach Grywalski commented. “The first set is often the iffy one and then we kick it in to gear. We knew and game planned to avoid Hailey Campagna, she is the big hitter. We gave her some easy balls in the first set so they could get big swings. We knew she was going to cut cross court and Nava Showalter was going to go down the line. Emmy McVicker got a ton of stops on her. We played smart. We knew where their weaknesses were and after the first set, we found them.”
The Lady Zeps jumped out to a quick four-point lead in the opening set behind the serving of Heather Merry and two kills by Brylee May. The Lady Flames came back to tie the game on a kill by Taylor Helmuth. The set remained close until Mya Leach went back to serve with a 21-19 lead. She served four points with a big block by Emmy McVicker and Kinsley Brown. Brenna Leach ended the set with a kill, 25-20.
Shenandoah took a big lead in the second set behind six service points each by May and Alyssa Crum. Mya Leach, who is ranked ninth in kills statewide, had six kills in the streak including the one that gave them an 18-4 lead. Mya Leach finished off the set with a tip to give the Lady Zeps the 2-0 lead, 25-11.
The third set saw Shenandoah get an early five-point lead on a kill by Crum, but the Flames came back to tie the game at 13. The set was then tied every point until a Flames hitting error gave the Zeps the 19-18 lead. Kadence Noll served the final four points of the match to send Shenandoah to the State tournament, 25-18.
Brenna Leach had 12 kills for the Lady Zeps while Mya Leach had 11, Merry had 15 assists followed by Crum with 13, May and McVicker each had four blocks, May and Crum had two aces each, and Mya Leach had 19 digs.
The Lady Zeps advanced to the finals with a victory over Hiland on Thursday in four sets, 25-23, 25-15, 20-25, and 25-17.
The first set was close early on with the game being tied five times before the Lady Zeps built a three-point lead on an ace by Brenna Leach. They extended the lead to five on a tip by McVicker. The Lady Hawks tied the set at 22 on a kill by Ava Troyer but Shenandoah took the lead and then took the set on kills by Mya Leach, 25-23.
The second set was tied at eight when Noll went back and served five straight points to put the Lady Zeps in front. A big block by McVicker and May gave them the five-point lead. They extended the lead to nine on a kill by May and won the set easily, 25-15.
There were nine ties in the third set, with the last coming at 13. The Lady Hawks Grace Keim then served five points to give Hiland the lead. Shenandoah closed it to three on a kill by McVicker and again on a block by May, but they would get no closer and the Lady Hawks took the set 25-20.
The Lady Zeps bounced back in the fourth set to take a 12-7 lead on a tip by Crum and extended the lead to nine on a Mya Leach kill. The Lady Hawks closed the gap to four on a tip by Haley Yoder but back-to-back blocks and a tip by May gave Shenandoah the win, 25-17.
Mya Leach had 16 kills for the Lady Zeps while Brenna Leach had 10. Crum had 20 assists and Merry had 18. May had six blocks and Mya Leach had 27 digs, Noll had 24, and Brenna Leach had 20.
The Flames advanced to the finals with a 3-0 win over Waterford, 25-10, 25-22, and 27-25.
The Lady Zeps are currently 27-0 and will take on New Bremen on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Nutter Center in Dayton. New Bremen advanced to the Final Four with a win over Fort Laramie 3-1.