PICKERINGTON — The Centerburg Trojans came out flat against the well-prepared Pleasant Spartans, losing in four sets, 25-16, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, in their Division III Central District semifinal matchup.
The loss brings an unexpected end to the season for the senior-laden Trojans, ranked eighth in the latest Division III coaches poll.
The Spartans got off to a 7-2 lead in the first set with some heavy-hitting from Kayla Briley and strong serving from teammate Cassie Hosp. The out-of-sync Trojans were sent reeling early on.
“We weren’t moving at the same speed that they were moving,” said Centerburg head coach Ed Marsman. “They were going about 65 miles per hour and we were going about 35 and we needed to pick it up. A couple of those adjustments that we talked about, we didn’t really do. We weren’t as smooth and as confident as we normally play. It wasn’t lack of effort or that they didn’t want to win. It was just one of those days.”
The Spartans hammered away with kills from Briley, Hunter Atherton and Megan Green to build a 17-4 advantage in the opening set.
The Trojans then responded. Setter Kendall Compton (25 assists, three kills and seven digs) began to find the range as she set teammate Tristen Simpson (15 kills) for her first kill of the game. That launched a 11-4 Trojan run with Compton, Simpson and Mikaela Weldy (five kills). It wasn’t enough, however, and the Spartans won the set.