It might be OK for Our Lady of the Elms volleyball coach Tom Schuler to take a bow.
Schuler recently decided to make a lineup change and install senior Torie Luckenbaugh as the Panthers’ setter.
The position switch continues to be a success. Elms won its fourth consecutive match, defeating host Ellet three sets to none Wednesday night.
Elms dispatched Ellet in one hour and six minutes by scores of 25-19, 25-17 and 25-20.
The Division IV Panthers (8-6) are undefeated with Luckenbaugh setting.
“I was impressed by our performance,” Schuler said. “I was really impressed with my setter, Torie. She just started setting two weeks ago in matches. She was previously our libero. The officials called Torie for a few lifts, but she stuck with it and played hard.”
Luckenbaugh had 36 assists and consistently set up senior Aubrey Kozer and junior Melissa Metz, a tandem that gave the Orangemen (10-3) fits all night long.
“Our back-row defense was solid,” Schuler said. “They were trying to hit in different ways with some tips and other things, but our girls back there knew their responsibilities and made plays.
“Aubrey and Melissa did very well attacking at the net. They are our offense. In the past we have had a tendency to set for them maybe more than we should. I am encouraging Torie to spread it out and get more girls involved, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, I tell her to set for our hitters.”
Kozer had five of her 10 kills in the first set, and Elms ended the set on a 10-1 run. She had four of her six aces in the second set when her team utilized a 7-0 run to take a 17-10 lead.
“We had a good match the other day [against Grafton Christian], which gave us a lot of energy coming into this match,” Kozer said.
“Everybody played very clean for the most part. We were clean and cohesive as a team.”
Elms opened the third set with a 14-6 lead. Kozer had three kills in the set, including the match clincher.
“I thought Elms played really well,” Ellet coach Tina Wallace said. “The girl in the green headband [Kozer] is a player. Her range was impressive. She hit the ball wherever she wanted to. She went line to line on us. She passed and hit well, and she spot served us a lot.”
Metz made her presence felt throughout the match with 11 kills, four blocks and three service aces.
The Panthers also got steady performance from senior Noelle Colant, junior Melanie LaFlame, junior Tessa Webb and senior libero Emily Scupholm.
Elms sophomore McKenna Murphy and junior Danielle Rogers contributed as reserves.
“They were an unassuming team during warm-ups,” Wallace said.
“When I first saw them, I thought we could play with them. I know we can play with them even though they beat us in three.”
Senior captains Christie Klinginsmith and Kasey Williams led Ellet. Klinginsmith had 15 assists, nine service points and eight digs. Junior Lindsey Chafe added 12 kills.
“We saw them [Ellet] play in the preseason and got a good feel for them,” Kozer said. “We knew they were a good team and that it would be an even match, but we also felt confident that we could take them.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.