ARCANUM – Franklin Monroe’s historic season came to an end Wednesday as Lehman Catholic upset the Lady Jets in the opening round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament.
“I thought we played an incredible game,” Franklin Monroe volleyball coach Angie Filbrun said. “The ending wasn’t what we wanted, but they played their hearts out.”
Franklin Monroe set a program record with 20 wins this season and was ranked 16th in the Division IV state rankings by the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association. But the Lady Jets ran into a Lehman Catholic team in the first round of the OHSAA tournament that has won 23 district championships in the past 24 years.
FM got off to a strong start against perennial powerhouse Lehman, winning both of the first two sets by a score of 25-19. But then the momentum shifted and the Cavaliers won the next three sets 25-23, 25-19, 15-9 to end the Jets’ season.
“We knew that (Lehman is a strong program),” Filbrun said. “We were prepared for that … I thought we were. But good game. I’m very proud of the girls.”
While the night ended in heartbreak, it started out great for Franklin Monroe. The Lady Jets’ largest deficit in either of the first two sets was a single point – 2-1 in the first game and 5-4 in the second game. With victories in the first two games the Jets were just one win away from advancing to the second round of the tournament.
But it wasn’t to be.
In the third set Franklin Monroe was on its heels for the first time all night, using its first timeout of the match while down 8-5. The Jets rallied after the break to regain an 11-9 lead, prompting Lehman to use a timeout.
Lehman again gained the upper hand and went up 19-15. After using its second timeout, Franklin Monroe once again fought its way back into the game and rallied to tie the score at 23-all. However, the Jets couldn’t regain the advantage and fell 25-23.
Lehman again got off to a strong start in the fourth set and quickly went up 11-6. This time Franklin Monroe wasn’t able to overcome the deficit and eventually fell 25-19 to even the match at two games apiece.
With all the momentum seemingly on Lehman’s side, the Cavaliers began the decisive fifth set on an 8-3 run. Franklin Monroe wouldn’t go quietly, though, as the Jets battled back to tie the game at 8-8. However, they weren’t able to get over the hump as the Cavs scored seven of the next eight points to win the game 15-9 and claim the sectional tournament victory.
“Lehman is an awesome team,” Filbrun said. “I’m very proud of them. They came from behind, being down 2-0, and they played their little hearts out. I wish them the best of luck.”
Wednesday’s loss marked the end of the season for Franklin Monroe, which finished the year with a 20-3 record. It also marked the end of the high school volleyball careers of Franklin Monroe’s three seniors: Makenzie Kreitzer, Josie Miller and Cassidy Spatz.
“Good girls. Excellent girls,” Filbrun said. “They’ve contributed a lot to our program, and they will be missed.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.