By Kevin Wannemacher
DHI Media Correspondent
HAVILAND – Wayne Trace got off to the start it wanted in Monday’s non-league volleyball game with Liberty Center. The Lady Raiders posted wins of 25-14 and 25-18 in the first two sets as the red-white-and-blue looked to record its second victory of the season. However, the visiting Tigers had other ideas. Liberty Center answered by taking the third set 25-22 before winning the fourth game 25-23 to set up a deciding fifth set. The orange-and-black then rallied from an 8-6 deficit for a 15-10 victory to claim the match.
Liberty Center got an outstanding effort by Andrea Weirauch. The senior middle hitter recorded 32 kills to lead the Lady Tigers to the victory, including 24 in the final three games of the match.
“She really stepped up and made some key plays for them,” noted Raider head coach Angie Speice of Weirauch. “She did a good job of finding open spots and keeping things off balance.”

After the Tigers led early in the first set, Wayne Trace responded with an 11-0 run to open a 17-10 advantage after three Sarah Young aces. With the lead at 19-13, the Lady Raiders closed the game by scoring six of the final seven points for a 25-14 victory.
“I thought we came out and got off to a really strong start,” Speice stated.
Game two saw the momentum begin to shift late in the contest. Wayne Trace led 21-13 late in the set but the Tigers put together a stretch where they scored five of the next seven points to get within 23-18. Although the Raiders went on to the 25-18 victory, that little spurt seemed to be the spark Liberty Center needed.
“They got a little momentum there at the end of the second set and they rode that into the third game,” continued the Raider mentor. “They also played very smart as the match progressed and did a good job of finding holes and exploiting them. Liberty Center saw the floor very well and that is something we have to learn from and get better.”
Liberty Center never trailed in set number three, getting eight kills and a block for a point by Weirauch to post a 25-22 win.
The Tigers then led most of the fourth set as well behind 11 kills from Weirauch and two each by Jenna Jeffers and Ainsley Quigley. Sarah Yaney and Breanna Sharp also had aces for the orange-and-black.
“Matches like this are a good experience for our girls and help to prepare us for our league play,” added Speice. “You have to give Liberty Center a lot of credit. They did a good job of keeping us off balance.”
In the deciding fifth set, Wayne Trace jumped in front 3-2 on an Addison Baumle ace but the lead would be short lived. A Weirauch slam quickly tied the contest at 3-3 before kills by Wayne Trace’s Erin Mohr and Sarah Young put the Raiders on top 5-3.
The Raiders still led 8-6 after a Baumle kill but the Tigers would take over from there. Kills by Quigley and Weirauch put Liberty Center in front 9-8 and the visitors would never trail again.
Two Raider hitting errors helped the Tigers push the lead to 12-9 before a Mohr kill got Wayne Trace within 12-10. However, Weirauch then finished off the match with a pair of slams that gave Liberty Center the 15-10 win.
“I am proud of the effort from the girls,” Speice noted. “They played extremely hard. It was a good match for us in that we were able to see what we need to work on and where we stand. Now we have to work hard to improve in those areas.”
Mackenzie Swary and Addison Baumle each had 21 digs for the Raiders with Carrigan Critten and Haley Saylor posting a dozen each. Erin Mohr led the Raiders with a dozen kills followed by Danae Myers with 11 and Sarah Young with ten. Blair Baumle also dished out 41 assists for Wayne Trace.
Wayne Trace (1-1) returns to action on Thursday as the Lady Raiders host Spencerville.
“We expect the same type of match from Spencerville,” concluded Speice. “They will be a scrappy team from what we have seen in the past. It will be a good challenge for us.”
Wayne Trace’s junior varsity moved to 2-0 on the season with a 25-18, 25-20 victory over the Tigers.