Breast cancer survivors Jen Anderson and her mother, Roz Mathie, have both battled breast cancer and both underwent double mastectomies last summer. Anderson, a former Lakota West volleyball player and coach, was honored at last year’s Volley for a Cure. Read her story and, yes, she is still blogging. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber on Sept. 7, 2012 in Mathie’s backyard in West Chester.
The Lakota West girls’ volleyball team will be hosting Mason High School in their annual Volley for the Cure event at Lakota West High School on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Over the past six years, the Lakota West girls’ volleyball program has raised more than $50,000 and sold more than 11,000 t-shirts for the Susan G. Komen foundation.
In addition to volleyball, there will be games with prizes, split the pot, silent auctions, raffles, mystery boxes, give-aways, a quilt raffle, as well as food and drink from local vendors. Matches begin with the freshman team playing at 4:30, J.V. at 5:30, a faculty “fun” match at 6:30, and varsity at 7:30 p.m.
During the event, the Atrium Medical Center will be on hand to answer questions and provide materials to educate and raise awareness to the fight against breast cancer.
New to this year’s event will be the addition of the Mercy Health mobile mammography van. The van will be located in front of Lakota West High School from 2 to 7:00 p.m. Call 513-686-3300 to schedule a mammogram, which only takes about 15 minutes.
The teams will be honoring those affected by breast cancer by placing their names on the “Wall of Honor” on Main Street. Survivors and families of those who have passed due to breast cancer are invited to attend. If you or someone you know has been affected by breast cancer and would like to attend, please contact Bethany Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org for complimentary tickets and a free Volley for the Cure t-shirt.
Brandon Kors breaks down the top boys’ volleyball teams for The Cincinnati Enquirer
After losing 10 seniors from last year’s squad, coach Sean Tierney is aware of the obstacles ahead in replacing an experienced team with one that has limited varsity experience.
The Panthers return five seniors, including outside hitter Anthony Stacklin; R.J. Albers, a middle hitter who is transitioning to right side hitter; and setter Joe Sansone.
Tierney said the team is working to solidify a backcourt and expects senior Henry Voellmecke and juniors Tim Kramer, Sean Conway and Michael Griswold to fill the void.
After advancing to the semifinals of the state tournament last season, the Firebirds set a precedent for the program.
Four new seniors join the program. Coach Christy Switzer said the returning team members have done a good job reiterating West’s tradition.
Lakota West will return a trio of seniors in setter Curtis Johnson, outside hitter Gurman Sekhon and libero Eric Singh.
This season East will deploy a new offensive scheme, which will include more plays that will incorporate the back row into the offense. This offensive change will make the Thunderhawks achieve a more spread-out attack and will attempt to ease the attention shown to senior middle blocker Kalen White.
Lakota East graduated its starting setter last season. Sophomore Bryant Kuhlman and freshman Brad Meyer will both be setting for the Thunderhawks.
Coach Matt McLaughlin’s record speaks for itself. As a player at Moeller he won two state titles with the Crusaders and is coming off his first state title as a coach last season.
“It’s a new season and it’s time to reiterate that to them,” McLaughlin said. “Certainly we had a great 2012 that ended on a high note for us, but going back to back is tough. We know nothing is guaranteed.”
The Crusaders return four senior starters from last year’s squad in libero Jared Engelhart, right side hitter Zach Priest, outside hitter Tony Pisciotta and middle hitter Casey Pieper.
It has been two seasons since the Highlanders won the GMC title, which they shared with Lakota West in 2011. With five returning starters this season, coach Chris Morman said the team has a very good chance to recapture the title as well as make a trip to the regional finals.
Along with the five returning starters, senior outside hitter Darien McDowell, who missed last year because of an injury, will return.
“We lost almost every starter from last year,” coach Bill Ferris said. “With that being said, I think the guys have done a good job stepping up quickly.”
Seniors Devon Hoesl, libero Michael Spohr and setter Ryan Judd, who saw limited action last season, will return for the Bombers.
May 3: Moeller at St. Xavier
April 5: Elder at St. Xavier
April 9: Mason at Oak Hills
April 11: Moeller at Elder
April 13: Carmel (Ind.) at Moeller
April 16: Lakota West at Oak Hills
April 24: Elder at Oak Hills
April 25: Lakota East at Lakota West
April 30: Mason at Lakota West
May 18: Regional Tournament final at Elder for South Region
May 18: Regional Tournament final at Centerville for West Region
May 25, 26: State championships at Walsh Jesuit High School
Sophomore Lexi Dannemiller led her team with 59 assists in Michigan’s 20-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20 upset win against No. 2 Stanford on Saturday night in the Elite Eight of the NCAA volleyball postseason tournament.
Dannemiller, who graduated from Lakota West in 2011, led the Big Ten in assists with 1,570 this past season.
Saturday’s win puts Michigan in the Final Four of NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. On Thursday, the Wolverines will face No. 3 Texas at 7 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. The match will be televised on ESPN2.
Almost as if they couldn’t wait, the Lakota East Thunderhawks were on the floor with a minute left before the fourth game of their Division I regional semifinal match against Mount Notre Dame.
That normally wouldn’t be unusual, except most teams aren’t that anxious to take on the undefeated defending state champions – but then, most teams weren’t Lakota East Thursday night at Lebanon High School.
“We didn’t want a delay,” senior outside hitter-setter Ashley Evans said. “We wanted to keep the momentum, because volleyball is such a game of momentum.”
The approach paid off as the Thunderhawks went on to win the fourth game and complete an historic 25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 25-20 win that sent them to the regional finals for the first time in the 16-year history of the program.
“I’m speechless,” said Evans, who led Lakota East with 26 kills. “I’m going to have to slap myself to make sure I’m awake. We’re coming together as a team. We tried to play them like they were any other team. We were the last team to beat them last year and the first team to beat them this year.”
Lakota East advanced to the regional final for the first time in school history after beating Mount Notre Dame, who was 25-0 and ranked No. 6 nationally by MaxPreps, by the score of 25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 25-20 Nov. 1, 2012. Photo by Joseph Fuqua II.
“This is huge,” Thunderhawks’ coach Casie Garland said. “It’s incredible.”
Senior Madeline Garda had 40 digs and classmate Anna Starr finished with 45 assists for Lakota East (24-2), which is scheduled to face Ursuline (20-6) in the regional finals on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Lebanon.
The Lions advanced with a taut 15-25, 25-12, 21-25, 25-22, 15-11 win over Lakota West (20-6) in Thursday’s second match.
The state semifinals are scheduled to be played on Nov. 8 with the finals on Nov. 10, all at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.
Lakota East, the No. 3 team in the Enquirer’s Division I coaches poll and fourth-ranked team in the Division I state coaches association poll, had several motivational cards to play, including a season loss to Mount Notre Dame (25-1), the top-ranked team in both the Enquirer and statewide polls, late in the regular season.
“They served and passed a lot better,” Cougars coach Joe Burke said about the difference in the two matches. “We didn’t have our ‘A’ game. We worked and played hard, but when you don’t give your best effort and the other team is on, it’s hard.”
“We weren’t clicking then,” Garland said. “I’d rather lose in the regular season than in the tournament. We’re jelling and clicking at the right time.’
“It came down to who played defense – and Evans was a game-changer.”
Evans and her teammates also made sure to remember that no Lakota East team had gotten past the regional semifinals.
“We found some old jerseys and wore them around school today,” Evans said. “We called it ‘Throwback Thursday.’”
Ursuline, ranked second in the Enquirer and sixth in the state, lost to Lakota East in the third match of the regular season.
The Firebirds (20-6), ranked third third in the Enquirer and ninth in the state, fell short of their second trip in three year to the regional championship match.
“We played them twice earlier in the season and beat them both times, but I knew it’d be close,” Lions coach Jeni Case said. “It looked like they wanted it more in the beginning, but we picked it up.”
Volleyball – Regional semifinals at Lebanon High School
Lakota East (24-2) def. Mount Notre Dame (25-1) 25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 25-20
Lakota sports fans have the unique opportunity tonight to watch both the Lakota East and Lakota West varsity volleyball programs play in back-to-back regional semifinal games at Lebanon High School. If both Lakota schools win then they will face off in the regional final.
Senior Ashley Evans, who is committed to Purdue, is one of the leaders at Lakota East who has helped the team advance to regional semifinal. If the Thunderhawks win on Thursday, it will be the first time in school history that it will play in the regional final. Photo taken earlier this postseason by Amanda Davidson.
Lakota East (22-2) will have the tough task of trying to defeat unbeaten Mount Notre Dame (25-0) in its regional semifinal match at 6:30 p.m.
Currently, the Cougars are ranked No. 6 nationally by MaxPreps and haven’t lost since Oct. 13, 2011. Ironically, that loss came against Lakota East.
“We know that our game on Thursday against Mount Notre Dame is going to be a battle,” Lakota East head coach Casie Garland said. “They are the strongest team in the state thus far at 25-0 and defending state champions, so it’s definitely not going to be easy.
“However, I do feel our team is fully capable of battling with the best of them.”
Both teams feature a future Big Ten volleyball player. East is led by Purdue commit Ashley Evans, who had 23 kills and 23 digs in the 30-28, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18 win against McAuley in the district final last Saturday. On the other side of the net, MND is led by senior Michelle Strizak, who is committed to Illinois. Strizak led the Girls Greater Cincinnati League with 381 kills.
In the late game Thursday, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Lakota West (20-5) will take on Ursuline (19-6). It will be the third meeting this fall between the two teams – with the Lions winning the first two: 25-20, 25-17, 25-27, 25-18 and 25-23, 25-21, 25-23.
“Ursuline is a great team,” Lakota West head coach Tracey Kornau said. “They are very well coached, always solid fundamentally and always play great defense.
“It will be a great game.”
Like in the earlier matchup, each team is led by one of the region’s best players. Junior Sam Fry, who had 362 kills this season and has already verbally committed to Notre Dame, leads Ursuline. While, Furman commit Annie Bierman, who led the Greater Miami Conference in kills this fall with 297, leads Lakota West.
To let West Chester and Liberty Township residents catch up with the news that they need to know, WestChesterBuzz.com will list and link to all of last week’s top local stories every Monday.
Student not seriously injured after being struck by car - As many parents were on their way to pick up their children from Cherokee Elementary School last Wednesday, a car struck a student just a half-mile from the school at around 4 p.m. The female student was on her bicycle crossing from the south side of Kyles Station Road to Aspen Trails Boulevard when an Acura SUV hit her, according to Ohio Highway Patrol Sgt. Brian Bost.
Junior Eric Eichler helped Lakota East earns its first-ever trip to the postseason when he ran for a touchdown and threw for another in a 33-21 win at Lakota West Oct. 26, 2012. Photo taken by Joseph Fuqua II.
Lakota East spoils Lakota West’s season with upset -Lakota East spoiled Lakota West’s season with a 33-21 upset win at Lakota West High School Friday night. The win knocked rival Lakota West out of the postseason and qualified Lakota East for the postseason for the first time in school history.
Lakota West wins second straight district title in soccer - For the second straight season, the Lakota West boys’ soccer team is making a postseason run. Last Thursday, the Firebirds won their second straight district title with a 2-0 win against Xenia at Lebanon High School. The Firebirds (16-1-2 overall) will now face Wayne (13-4-2 overall) in a regional semifinal matchup scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. at Sycamore Junior High.
The Speedway at Cincinnati-Dayton Road near I-75 was selling unleaded gas for $2.97 a gallon last week. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber Oct. 26, 2012.
Time to fill up? Gas prices fall under $3 – Gas prices in West Chester fell under $3 last Wednesday and remained there through the weekend, causing long lines at the pump. For more gas prices or to search for the cheapest gas near you, visit Cincygasprices.com.
Liberty Township coat drive begins - All three Liberty Township fire stations started to serve as collection sites for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s annual coat drive last week. The goal, organizers say, is to collect 4,000 new or gently used coats by Dec. 1. Coats are need for all age groups from infants through adults. Coats can also be dropped off at 11 Gold Star Chili locations in Butler County.
Liberty Township administrator named Indian Hill manager – Administrator Dina Minneci is poised to leave Liberty Township in November to become the city manager of Indian Hill, Sue Kiesewetter reported last week for The Cincinnati Enquirer. Minneci was selected from a field of 45 applicants.
Democratic candidate Jodi Billerman is running for the open Butler County commission seat. The Enquirer/ Joseph Fuqua II.
Butler County race features fresh faces, strong ideas – Sheila McLaughlin of The Cincinnati Enquirer reported last week on the Butler County commissioners race: Three political newbies are vying for a seat on the board of commissioners in Butler County, where spending is the resounding theme in a community that is steeped in debt and faces $900,000 in cuts to get through the end of the year.
Lakota Local Schools still faces financial hole - Michael D. Clark of The Cincinnati Enquirer: Lakota Schools have slowed but not stopped its financial bleeding, officials said during Monday evening’s school board meeting. The school system – impacted by three tax levy defeats in the last two years all resulting in historically deep personnel and program cuts – still faces insolvency in 2014, officials said.
Homearama 2013 in Liberty Twp. to break ground Nov. 8 – The Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati (HBA) recently announced that it would hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its Homearama 2013 location, Carriage Hill in Liberty Township, on Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m. The homes featured in the showcase will be priced between $700,000 to $1.2 million. Of the eight homes in the show, two have already been sold.
West Chester taking submissions for annual holiday parade - West Chester Township is now taking submissions from local individuals, businesses and organizations interested in participating in the annual holiday parade on Saturday, Nov. 17. The parade, and the tree lighting to follow, is held in conjunction with the Olde West Chester Christmas Walk, sponsored by the Merchants of Olde West Chester.
Senior Will Mahone helped Lakota East advance to its first postseason appearance in school history with a 33-21 win at Lakota West Oct. 26, 2012. Photo taken by Barb Trimble of TrimPhotoAndVideo.com. For more photos from this game, visit http://proofs.trimphotoandvideo.com/g/102612east_west
As October ends, there are still four Lakota varsity fall sports teams who will be playing postseason matches this week. In addition to that, there will be three runners from Lakota East who will be competing at this Saturday’s state meet.
In volleyball, both Lakota East and Lakota West will have regional semifinal matches on Thursday at Lebanon High School. Lakota East will face Mt. Notre Dame at 6 p.m., while Lakota West will matchup with Ursuline at 7 p.m.
If both Lakota teams advance, they would then play each other in the regional final on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Lebanon High School. The winner of that will advance to next week’s state final four at Wright State University Nov. 8 and 10.
In soccer, the Lakota West will face Wayne in the regional semifinal at Sycamore Junior High at 7 p.m. this Wednesday. If the Firebirds advance, they will play in the regional final at noon on Saturday at a site to be determined.
Then, in football, Lakota East will make its first-ever postseason appearance when it visits Springboro at 7 p.m. Saturday.
At the regional cross country meet at Troy, senior Matt Rice, senior Kelly Burrows and sophomore Abbie VanFossen – all of Lakota East – qualified for this Saturday’s state meet at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
Rice finished ninth at this past weekend’s regional meet with a time of 16:07.94. The first-place finisher, Tippecanoe senior Sam Wharton, posted a time of 15:37.87.
VanFossen finished seventh with a time of 18:42.33, while her teammate Burrows finished 12th with a time of 18:53.06. The first-place finisher, St. Ursula sophomore Annie Hefferman, posted a time of 17:57.44.
Weekly Lakota fall sports postseason schedule:
Wednesday, Oct. 31
Boys’ soccer: Lakota West (16-1-2) vs. Wayne (13-4-2) at Sycamore Junior High at 7 p.m. in regional semifinal.
Thursday, Nov. 1
Volleyball: Lakota East (22-2) vs. Mt. Notre Dame (25-0) at 6 p.m. at Lebanon High School in regional semifinal.
Volleyball: Lakota West (20-5) vs. Ursuline (19-6) at 7:30 p.m. at Lebanon High School in regional semifinal.
Saturday, Nov. 3
Soccer: (If Lakota West wins Wednesday) will play the winner of Mason/St. Xavier, also on Wednesday, at noon on Saturday at site to be determined in regional final.
Cross Country: Three Lakota East student athletes will compete at state meet at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron. Division I boys’ race begins at 12:30 p.m., while the Division I girls’ race begins at 3 p.m.
Volleyball: Winner of Lakota East/Mt. Notre Dame will play the winner of Lakota West/Ursuline (each match from Thursday) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Lebanon High School in regional final.
Football: Lakota East (7-3) at Springboro (10-0) at 7 p.m. in regional quarterfinal.
Lakota West players celebrate after scoring the match-winning point against Lakota East Sept. 26, 2012. Both Lakota teams are considered among the best in the state and won district titles last Saturday. Photo taken by Joseph Fuqua II
Shannon Russell reports:
Lakota East and Lakota West clinched Division I district girls’ volleyball championships Saturday at Lebanon and punched their tickets to respective regional semifinals.
The Thunderhawks ended McAuley’s first winning season in five years in a 30-28, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18 thriller and clinched a place in Thursday’s 6 p.m. regional semifinal at Lebanon.
By ousting Troy 25-12, 25-14, 25-15 – and snapping the Trojans’ 11-match winning streak – Lakota West secured its place in Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. regional semifinal, also at Lebanon.
McAuley (17-8) didn’t make it easy for Lakota East (23-2) to clinch its second district title in three years, but the Thunderhawks proved resilient after dropping their first game of the postseason.
“We remember how it felt after we lost last year and we didn’t want to that to happen again, so we just pushed through,” said Lakota East senior Ashley Evans, who had 23 kills, 23 digs, two blocks and an ace.
Coach Casie Garland said Lakota East’s solid passing set the tone for a good offensive showing, and McAuley coach Gene Toms agreed.
Toms said the Mohawks had “antsy feet” and struggled to make good, aggressive moves on defense. But rather than emphasize the outcome, he praised McAuley’s nine seniors, including Taylor Bove (12 kills) and Jordyn Thiery (7 kills).
“We’re going to try to celebrate the season instead of focusing on how it ended for us,” Toms said.
Lakota East setter Anna Starr finished with 54 assists, while libero Madeline Garda had 20 digs and Spenser Parks amassed 15 kills.
Then it was Lakota West’s turn. The Firebirds (20-5) won a third straight district title by controlling the tempo and making big plays at key moments.
“We knew we had to come out strong so we just had tons of energy,” outside hitter Annie Bierman said.
Coach Tracey Kornau called the win a complete team effort.
“We spread the ball out pretty evenly,” Kornau said.
Both the Lakota East and Lakota West volleyball teams, as well as the Lakota West boys’ soccer team advanced to the district finals after winning their postseason matches on Monday night.
In volleyball, Lakota West (19-5) defeated Sycamore (13-11) 25-13, 25-23, 25-18 at Withrow Monday. The Firebirds will now face Troy (20-4) at Lebanon High School on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, Lakota East (21-2) defeated St. Ursula (12-13) 25-23, 25-20, 25-17 at home. On Saturday, the Thunderhawks will take on McAuley (17-7) at Lebanon on Saturday at 2 p.m.
In soccer, Lakota West (15-1-2) will try to win its second straight district title when its faces Xenia (15-2-2) at Lebanon on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Firebirds earned the opportunity to play in the district final by defeating Sycamore (12-3-4) by the score of 2-0 on Monday.
Upcoming Lakota fall sports postseason schedule:
Thursday, Oct. 25
Boys’ soccer: Lakota West (15-1-2) vs. Xenia (15-2-2) at Lebanon at 7 p.m. in district final.
Saturday, Oct. 27
Cross country: Regional meet at Troy.
Volleyball: Lakota East (21-2) vs. McAuley (17-7) at Lebanon at 2 p.m. in district final.
Volleyball: Lakota West (19-5) vs. Troy (20-4) at Lebanon at 3:30 p.m. in district final.