By SCOTT COTTOS
FOSTORIA — Coach Krissy Lotycz would have loved for her Fostoria High School volleyball team to win its invitational tournament for the third straight season on Saturday.
But after undefeated Sylvania Southview handed the Redmen a 25-11, 25-11 whipping in the championship match, she sees an opportunity for her team to turn disappointment into prosperity.
“Sometimes you have to lose and you have to kind of sit down and analyze the things you need to work on,” she said. “Obviously, we showed some of our weaknesses, especially playing a better team like (Southview).
“This coming week’s going to be another big week for us, but we just have to go back to the drawing board and make sure that our practices are planned out to work on the things we need to work on. Obviously, that’s a lot of defense, that’s running our offense.”
Fostoria (6-2) pasted Toledo Start 25-11, 25-6 in the first round before struggling to beat Gibsonburg 25-23, 20-25, 25-20 in the semifinals.
The Redmen then encountered a parade of six Southview hitters, led by Olivia Materni and Semira Neely with eight and six kills, respectively. The Cougars (7-0) also got 20 assists from Payton Helvey, three aces from Molly Musgrave and 16 digs from Sam Fallis.
Southview (7-0) advanced to the championship match by beating Sandusky High 25-15, 25-11 and Tiffin Calvert 25-21, 25-14.
“We played pretty well today,” Cougars coach Mike Sebring said. “It was a real team effort, and that’s what we really emphasize. Fostoria’s got one of the nicest hitters (Tyriana Settles) we’ve seen all year, but we felt we had a stronger total team, and it takes a team in volleyball to really get wins.”
Settles, a 5-foot-9 junior, recorded 10 kills in the title match to boost her day’s total to 49. She’ll hit the 1,000-kill mark for her career with five more, which could come when Fostoria hosts Genoa for a Northern Buckeye Conference match on Tuesday night.
“I just wanted to win today. (The 1,000th kill) didn’t really matter if it was today, Tuesday, next week,” Lotycz said. “I think it’ll be great, obviously, that she gets it in her junior year. For most people, it takes until the very end of your senior season to accomplish it.”
Settles added 23 digs and five blocks to her day’s work. Setter Dakota Thomas collected 71 assists, five aces and 10 digs, while Mary Harris had 10 kills, four aces and 22 digs.
“For the day, I thought we were just inconsistent and not in sync at times,” Lotycz said.
Vanlue coach Zack Bame had a similar sentiment about his club, which finished in sixth place. The Wildcats (3-3), who already have one more win than they garnered all of last season, lost 25-7, 25-16 to Calvert before beating Sandusky 27-25, 14-25, 25-23 and falling 25-19, 16-25, 25-17 to Start.
“Overall, I think the biggest thing is we have to get a lot more consistent,” Bame said. “Just like this last match here (against Start): We struggle our first set, we come back in the second set and look strong and then the third set, we start where we need to and then we slowly fade away.”
Amanda Clymer and Maliah Snook put away 21 kills apiece for Vanlue with Snook adding a team-high seven aces and Clymer leading the way in digs with 16. Emma Biller had 25 assists.
Fostoria’s junior varsity finished last in the tournament, losing 25-10, 25-5 to Gibsonburg, 25-16, 25-23 to Start and 25-11, 25-19 to Sandusky.
Fostoria varsity (6-2)
ACES: Dakota Thomas 5, Mary Harris 4, Evion Taylor. KILLS: Tyriana Settles 49, Meredith Grine 11, Harris 8. ASSISTS: Thomas 71. DIGS: Settles 23, Harris 22, Alex Talley 11. BLOCKS: Settles 5, Grine 2.
ACES: Maliah Snook 7, Audrey Phillips 4, Emma Biller 3. KILLS: Amanda Clymer & Snook 21, Bethany Smith 9. SPIKING: Clymer 80-91, Snook 63-72, Smith 28-34. ASSISTS: Biller 25, Phillips 22. SETTING: Phillips 78-82, Biller 87-93. DIGS: Clymer 16, Snook 12, Smith 8.
fostoria junior varsity
POINTS: Dashani Taylor 10, Haley O’Neal 9, Jolie Counts 3. BLOCKS: Kyah Talley 5.