DIII Regional Preview: Lake Catholic a Heavy Favorite
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Region 9Lake Catholic vs. IndependenceLake Catholic has been atop the DIII state poll all season and are even ranked top-25 nationally by some sources. At 25-0, they’ve lost just two sets all season. Senior setter Hannah Pattie Hannah Pattie 5'7"…
Lake Catholic vs. Independence
Lake Catholic has been atop the DIII state poll all season and are even ranked top-25 nationally by some sources. At 25-0, they’ve lost just two sets all season. Senior setter is a big reason for their success and offensive efficiency as they are terminating 14.4 k/s on a .371 efficiency as a team. The top offensive threat is senior and her 4.0 k/s. She is earning her kills at a 50% rate for the season. For Independence, they are led by a trio of non-seniors. Sophomore and junior each deliver 3.6 k/s on average while sophomore (*pictured) is third on the team at 2.3 k/s. Wilson also shares time in the setting role and has dished nearly 300 assists in 2023.
Smithville vs. Crestview (Columbiana)
Since their lone loss at the start of October, Smithville is on a seven match win streak while dropping only one set over that span. Senior is a big force as she is leading her team with 5.7 k/s. She is just shy of 500 kills on the season and is terminating efficiently at .443. She makes a big impact on the defensive side at 3.8 blocks per contest. For Crestview, this is another unbeaten team entering regional action. Having dropped just two sets this season, they feature an athlete that is among the best in this division in length, athleticism, and overall impact. Junior has increased her impact over the past few months as she can play well above the net. She leads the Rebels at 4.5 k/s while earning nearly three blocks per match. Equally effective offensively is senior . She provides 4.4 k/s and leads this team in efficiency at .545. If any team is to beat Lake Catholic it leans towards Crestview. It will be an early exit for some of the state’s best teams in DIII and this region as three of them are ranked in the top five in the latest state poll (#1 Lake Catholic, #4 Crestview, #5 Smithville) with Independence ranked #12.
The top prospects to see in this portion of the bracket include some big arms. The tandem of senior Casey Brown and junior has Huron at 26-3 overall given their balance on the pins and in the middle. They each contribute 3.5 k/s as Waldock leads the team in efficiency at .430 and total blocks with 61. They face Fairview (26-2 overall) in what should be a big dose of senior . With over 1,300 kills over her varsity career, Crites is delivering her best numbers at 6.3 k/s while also picking up over 10 digs per match. In the match featuring Pleasant versus St. Henry, the arm of Kelly Cocherl will see a lot of action as her season average is 5.2 k/s for the Spartans. St. Henry is 22-3 overall and offer more balance in their offense led by their two biggest threats in senior (3.8 k/s) and junior Ellie Fullenkamp (2.7 k/s).
South Webster (25-0) will take on Adena (18-7) in one half of this regional semifinal. The Jeeps’ unbeaten record is due to a trio of capable arms led by senior Isabella Claxon and her 3.4 k/s. She also leads the team in total assists with 550 and aces at an impressive 84 total. Adena comes with a pair of attackers earning similar numbers as senior middle Brinlee Preston and sophomore pin Katie Burns each earn nearly 3.5 k/s. Senior libero Brooke Brossert creates a lot of opportunities for her team as she averages 19 digs per match. Nelsonville-York, at 23-2 overall and unbeaten in Tri-Valley league play, have their own highly productive tandem on the pins with senior Chloe Lehman and junior Kyleigh Warren at 4.7 and 3.6 k/s respectively. Junior setter Megan Booth has led the offense to a .344 team efficiency. The Buckeyes will take on Meadowbrook (21-5) led by senior Taylor Sichina at 3.3 k/s. She gets good support from junior Katie Stoney at nearly three kills per frame and fellow senior Karly Launder at 2.5 kills and 3.7 digs per set.
Archbishop McNicholas (18-7) has been impressive this season as they are led by a first-year arm in at 277 total kills this season, good for fourth in the GCL. Teammate Cassidy Rivas has increased her impact in her senior season with 237 total kills and just behind her teammate among league leaders. The Rockets will next face Newark Catholic, who at 22-4 and ranked #20 in the most recent DIII poll, won the Licking County league title with an unbeaten record. Sophomore is their biggest offensive threat at 3.3 k/s and a team high 56 aces. Summit Country Day has big potential to make a long run as they have some dynamic athletes. is just a sophomore but has a very high ceiling to her game. She led the MVC in total kills this season as she is currently at 362 total kills. She gets up off the floor well and can bring some big heat. Junior averages nearly two kills per set and is third in the league in blocking. The Silver Knights play Versailles, who at 15-11 overall are led by their own first-year star in Kylie May who provides 2.9 k/s.