To paraphrase tennis great Vitas Gerulaitis, nobody beats ’s volleyball team three times in a row, at least not Lake Catholic and not when a trip to the state semifinals is on the line.
Behind the attacking play of Lauren Youngblood, Courtney Bowman and Molly Davet, the Blue Streaks knocked off the defending Division II state champion Cougars, 3-1, in the Region 5 final at Stow and reached state competition for the first time in the school’s history.
The game scores were 27-25, 25-20, 25-27, 25-18.
Beaumont (18-9) will face Columbus Bishop Hartley in a semifinal at 4 p.m. Thursday at Wright State.
After Beaumont beat North Coast League rival Lake Catholic on its home floor, the Cougars returned the favor and defeated the Blue Streaks two additional times this season. But Beaumont didn’t want to lose a third straight time.
“The first match we played at Lake, I think we took them by surprise. The second match, taking nothing away from them, we had nine unforced errors in the fifth set. At Gilmour when we played them, we should have ordered popcorn and watched them play. We didn’t do anything, but we told them …you have to play as a team to win. They’re getting it now,” Beaumont head volleyball coach Patrick Royer said.
Youngblood had 14 kills and four blocks, Davet had 10 kills and 10 digs and Bowman had 13 kills and three blocks.
Mairin Jerse had 34. Usually Midori Harrison is the offensive star for the Blue Streaks, but the Cougars attention to her opened up the scoring for her teammates, Royer said.
In reaching this stage of the tournament, Beaumont broke through the district finals ceiling of the last three years. The Blue Streaks are not aiming to be satisfied with their new found success.
"If you can match up and play hard, you’re going to do fine. That’s the long and the short of it. We’re happy to be there, but we know what’s in front of us and we know we’ve got to play hard,” Royer said
Senior Rachel Slingluff finished 27th and led the Blue Streaks to a 15th place team finish in the Division II State Cross Country Championships at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.
Slingluff had a time of 19 minutes and 26.03 seconds followed by Sam Graf in 119th (21:10.07), Jessie Slingluff in 120th (21:10.35), Rachel Graf in 123rd (21:13.06), Allison May in 129th (21:29.18), Maura O'Connor in 140th (21:59.96) and Kerry Drew in 144th (22:09.52).
Beaumont finished with 341 points. St. Vincent-St. Mary won the event with 89 points.