Maria Petry slams one home for the Patriots who won their 1st round sectional tournament game vs the Blackhawks. (Dale Barger Photo)

Patriots Advance, Hawks Eliminated in D4 Volleyball Tournament

COVINGTON – Tri-Village advanced to the 2nd round of the OHSAA DIV Sectional Volleyball by defeating Mississinawa Valley 25-11, 25-16 and 25-17.

The Patriots did it with strong serving and play at the net overwhelming the Blackhawks at times in the game.

In the opening set Meghan Downing got TV rolling to an 8-1 lead serving 7 straight points and she finished the set with another 5 points for the 25-11 win.

The Patriots continued to roll early in the second set only to see Mississinawa Valley fight back.

“I think our girls were a little nervous to start the game and after we got through the first set I told them to just go out relax and play the game.  They did that and responded well as we competed much better in the 2nd  and 3rd sets,” Mississinawa coach Billie Hunt stated.

The Hawks were outsized up front by the taller front line of the Patriots, but they kept firing back.

In fact, there was a time when the undersized Kennedy Stachler took 4 straight swings into the blocking arms of Meghan Downing and Madi Mead determined to find a way to score. 

“I really love her determination and we talked that sometimes it’s better to find holes and look for other ways to score and when we started to do that we put pressure on them to make some plays,” Hunt said.

Tri-Village who was the Western Ohio Athletic Conference volleyball champs this year with an 11-0 record had too much firepower for the Hawks to overcome.

“It’s good to get a win on this floor, we had some good games and run on this floor last year,” Brewer stated.

“We’ve been idle for almost two weeks now and to come out, play well early and get everyone on the team floor time in this opening round game pleases me,” Brewer added.

The Patriots improves to 20-3 overall and will play a second-round game in Covington on Saturday against Catholic Central at 2pm.

Mississinawa season ends with a 7-14 overall record and 3-7 in the WOAC, but coach Billie Hunt sees a brighter future for the Hawks.

“This group of seniors and their positive attitude and willingness to work hard I believe will have a positive impact on the younger girls on the team and it will show next year,” Hunt praised.

Mississinawa will graduate 4 seniors: Aly Byram, Katie Ibarra, Kennedy Stachler and Madison Townsend.

“Aly Byram didn’t play her freshman year and then decided she would come out and play again and we were thankful ever since.  She has been a great blocker and hitter for us, she’s not the best passer and knows that and gladly trades out that spot when needed,” Hunt commented.

“Katie Ibarra is a first-year varsity player for us this season and I know it was hard for her to be on JV last year, but it got her ready to come up and help us out.  She plays great in the back row for us, a good passer and digs well too.  She has been a great cheerleader for this team from the moment her senior season started this summer.  She cheers everyone JV, Varsity it doesn’t matter,” Hunt praised.

“Kennedy Stachler has really come out and taken control of the team this year.  She owns her position and has had a lot of drive to do well and help us win game this year.  She plays hard, and her serving is unbelievable.  She’ll tell me at the beginning of a game where the weak spot is and where she is serving, and I have faith in her decision.  She’ll hit from one spot and then move to another and nail it and it’s been great watching her this year.” Hunt stated.

“Maddie Townsend has a tremendous heart and I’m not sure what I’ll do without her.  Her cheering and voice on this team is huge.  There are times I’ll move down from her because she screams and yells every play for every player no matter who does what. She gets excited for everyone including herself and I’m going to miss that voice on the team next year,” Hunt applauded.

“I’m proud of these girls for not giving up, they really didn’t want the season to end tonight.  This team has been so much fun, they have so much love for one another which makes coaching this team a joy and it will be hard to see these seniors go,” Hunt concluded.

MV Senior Kennedy Stachler while undersized battled the bigger front line of Tri-Village all night. (Dale Barger Photo)
Hawks Senior Katie Ibarra digs one up in their tournament game vs Tri-Village. (Dale Barger Photo)
Tri-Village senior Ashlyn Wilson looks to pass to the front row in tournament game vs Mississinawa Valley. (Dale Barger Photo)
Senior Madi Townsed tries to sneak one through the Tri-Village defense. (Dale Barger Photo)
TV senior Maddie Bennett sends one over the net for a score. (Dale Barger Photo)

Dale Barger / Sports Editor

Dale Barger is a lifelong sports enthusiast and has covered high school athletics for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio and now becomes sports editor for Darke County now. For 18 years Dale has been a sportswriter for The Daily Advocate and has been published in online sorts magazines and conference websites. Dale is also an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years. Dale is a member of The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and was a 2019 recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Media Service Award. Dale lives on a 72-acre farm outside of New Madison, Ohio and is married to Rita Ann (Fourman) Barger and together they have two sons and three grandkids. If you don’t see Dale at a sporting event you might catch him following his other passion – photographing nature and wildlife. Contact Darke County Now Editor Media Sports Editor Dale Barger at

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