One of the most successful seasons in the history of Stow-Munroe Falls volleyball came to an end May 27 one win shy of a trip to states.
Stow lost to Lakewood St. Edward in the Division I North Region #2 final of the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association playoffs at Walsh Jesuit High School. The Eagles defeated the Bulldogs in straight sets 25-17, 25-14, 25-21.
Stow finished the season at 17-8. St. Edward advance to play Hilliard Darby June 3 in a state quarterfinal match at Capital University in Bexley.
St. Edward's ability to finish at the net proved decisive. The Eagles finished with 28 kills and five hitting errors for a .311 team hitting percentage.
Stow finished with 19 kills, but also committed 17 hitting errors. Stow finished with a slight edge in blocks 6-5.
The Bulldogs' serving game also proved to be no weapon in his contest, as Stow had six aces and nine service errors. The Eagles had similar luck at the net, finisheing with five aces and eight service errors.
In his final game as a Bulldog, senior Hayden Baer had a modest game at the net by his standards. The North Region players of the year had 12 kills and three hitting errors.
St. Edward made a point of serving to Baer and senior teammate Justin Sibbel in an attempt to throw off Stow's offense. Baer was forced to make 30 passes, while Sibbel had 22.
Sibbel struggled at the net, finishing with six kills and nine hitting errors. He also led the Bulldogs with three blocks.
Junior setter Wes Gray finished with 19 assists and seven digs, while senior libero Jeremy Lundstrom led the team with 10 digs.
Stow will say goodbye to a lot of talent this spring, as Baer, Sibbel, Lundstrom, middle blocker Alex Devore and middle blocker Eric Friedt all graduated this spring.
That class graduates having set a bevy of school records this spring.
Baer destroyed Ben Spurlock's single season record for kills with 331 kills this season, while Lundstrom finished with 205 digs, breaking Spurlock's single-season digs record by nearly 100 digs. Baer finished 194 digs, making him second on the single-season digs list.
Sibbel finished with 84 aces this season, breaking Danny Iriving's 2004 season record by 22.
Finally, Gray finished with 646 assists this season, crushing Zach Fulmer's single-season record by 181 assists.