BARBERTON—Berkshire’s season came to and with a 3-1 setback to Applecreek Waynedale in a Division III regional semifinal at Barberton High School on Thursday.
Waynedale won the match 25-21, 22-25, 25-18 and 26-24.
“For the last three games, they’ve played the best I’ve seen them play all year,” Berkshire coach Joni Prots said of her Badgers. “I told them, a lot of what got us during the year was that mistake bug. It was us making mistakes all in a row and not making the other team score. Unfortunately, that came with us a little bit today. We scored way too many points for them.”
The Badgers played the Golden Bears even throughout the first game as the set was tied 15-15 until Waynedale reeled off three straight points to pull ahead 18-15.
Waynedale went on to score four of the next five points and carried that momentum to a 1-0 lead.
Berkshire rallied from a 21-18 deficit to win the second set, which included 12 ties.
After leading 4-0, Waynedale turned a 10-10 tie into a 19-11 lead and held off a late Berkshire charge to win the third set.
“Obviously, they had weapons and they used them,” Prots said. “I thought when we were aggressive we were scoring points but there were too many points during the game where we couldn’t get our offense going and attack, so they got to do a lot of things.”
The Badgers, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat rival Cardinal in last week’s district championship match, took an early lead in the fourth set and even led 16-11 and 21-17 at one point.
Again, one mistake turned into two and the Bears tied the set at 22-22 and went on two win, 26-24.
“I felt like there were some times where we had them on the ropes and we made a mistake and gave them that little glimmer of hope of coming back,” Prots said. “Then we’d make another one and they were right back in the game. We definitely hurt ourselves today.”
Madison Chapman led the Badgers with 17 kills, three aces and 22 digs and she also recorded eight service points and two blocks. Delaney Tucek finished with 10 points, 11 digs and five kills, Julia Kastor contributed with 12 digs, six kills, three blocks and two points and Olivia Freiling posted a team-high 24 assists and added 19 digs and six points.
Marisa Miller finished with five points and five digs, Madelyn Carver added five digs and Kayla Dingman recorded 10 points, five digs and two aces for the Badgers, who finished the year 16-10.
“The seniors have done some much for the program over the last four years and they did so much for the team this year,” Prots said. “They have nothing to hang their heads about as far as what they’ve left with this program. I told the underclassmen to learn from what they saw doing and what they did right and what they did wrong and to build on that.”