Felicity, Williamsburg, and Batavia in a very close SBC National volleyball championship chase

Felicity, Williamsburg, and Batavia are the Clermont County teams battling in a balanced Southern Buckeye Conference National Division (SBC-N) varsity volleyball race.

Felicity is 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the SBC-N.

“They’re doing well, I’m very pleased,” said Cardinal head coach Damon Smith. “They have a great desire to win and they’re playing well together.”

Smith praised the play of his junior hitters, Courtney Lucas and Felisha McCann. “We’re not big, but our hitters play bigger than they are. They’re scrappy.”

Smith is also receiving good efforts from setters Sam Ladenburger, and Stephanie Kirk, libero Ashley Rice, outside hitter Amanda Stricker, server Brianne Cornelius, and “number one sub” Hope Botticher, all seniors, and junior front row and setter Elizabeth Little.

“We should be very competitive the rest of the way. I think we can win the conference.

“We’ll be rebuilding after this year. We’ll still have our two hitters, but they’ll need people to support them.”

Williamsburg is 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the SBC-N.

“We’ve been competitive. We’re trying to learn to win again,” said head coach Ed Stewart whose squad won just three contests last year. The Clermont County volleyball coaching legend returned to ‘Burg a year ago where he had led the ‘Cats to numerous Clermont County League and SBC championships in the 1980s and 1990s.

“We’re improving. I’ve got a bunch of good kids who want to win and they work hard. Our seniors are doing well.”

The senior leaders are defensive specialists Lyndsi Gilbert and Jamie Elam and middle hitter Jacquie Chambers. Stewart is getting good play from the Herren sisters, Josie, a setter, and Jesse, an outside hitter, both juniors, junior libero Molly McCullough, sophomore outside hitter Kaetha Frost, sophomore middle hitter Heather Brown, and freshman outside hitter Amy Brown.

“If we can get over trying not to lose instead of trying to win we’ll be okay,” said Stewart. “The future is really bright. I’m very excited. We’re working hard.”

Batavia is 5-7 overall and 2-5 in the SBC-N.

“We’ve been improving. We had won four of five, but now we’re playing the bigger schools in the (American) division,” said head coach George Gyurina, who added, “We’ve lost some tough matches.”

Senior middle hitter Melanie Jump leads the Bulldogs in kills and aces. Senior outside hitter Kendra Stuchell is second in kills and a leader in aces. Sophomore setter Abby Jacob is tops in assists.

“Our chances of winning the remaining games in our division are good.

“Our future looks good. The JV is 8-3.”

Clermont Northeastern spiked Batavia 25-16, 25-13, 25-7.

Batavia beat Bethel-Tate 25-20, 25-21, 25-12 and Deer Park 25-12, 17-25, 17-25, 25-12, 15-10.

Williamsburg downed New Richmond 25-16, 25-6, 19-25, 25-23. Georgetown was also swept 25-10, 25-12, 25-18. Western Brown ended the Wildcats’ winning streak serving a 25-8, 25-23, 25-19 setback.

New Richmond routed Ripley 18-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-19. Georgetown fell, too, 25-14, 25-15, 25-22.

Goshen upended Felicity 25-18, 25-20, 25-18 and Batavia 25-17, 25-22, 25-17.

Milford was fractured by Fairfield 25-17, 26-16, 25-20; Talawanda 25-22, 24-26, 27-25; and Oak Hills 25-16, 22-25, 25-12, 25-22.

Glen Este was overcome by Anderson 25-19, 25-23, 27-29, 25-12. Harrison also took the Trojans’ measure 25-18, 25-22, 12-25, 25-18.

Bethel-Tate lost to Summit Country Day 25-8, 25-15.