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A fitting end for the Raiders

The host Raiders prevailed over Urbana in five thrilling sets to cap an unbeaten run through conference play.

Ben Logan ends the regular season at 20-2 overall and 10-0 in the CBC Mad River division.

Urbana, which would have earned a share of the league title with a win, falls to 15-7, 8-2.

“We are humbled by it,” said Ben Logan head coach Allison Reule of the conference title. “It is a great honor. We play in a very competitive league. Every night is a battle.”

Battle may not be a strong enough word to describe Thursday’s match. The two teams traded the momentum all night.

Urbana grabbed a 25-20 lead in the opening set, but Ben Logan came back to win the next two (26-24, 25-21).

In a marathon of a fourth set, the Hillclimbers pulled out 30-28 victory to force a decisive fifth set.

Ben Logan led 14-9 in the fifth set before Urbana rattled off five straight points to knot the score at 14-14.

The Raiders then tallied two consecutive points for a 16-14 win that resulted in a celebration in the stands on the Ben Logan side of the court.

“I am really happy with the way the girls fought tonight,” said Reule. “We talked tonight that we had to conquer, and we did that. It took us five sets, but we conquered. Give Urbana credit. They did not back down. They gave us a heck of a game.”

It was fitting final home match for an outstanding group of Ben Logan seniors: Jessica Yoder, Courtney Stewart, Kylee Smith, Ciarra Wirick, Marissa Wilbur and Brooklyn Terrill.

“We’ve been fortunate to have an exceptional senior class,” said Reule. “They have great leadership skills and they are tremendous competitors.”

Having so much experience proved to be a big benefit for the Raiders during the pressure-packed match against the Hillclimbers.

“Our girls have been in situations like this before,” said Reule. “We put the girls in pressure situations every day in practice. They are conditioned for moments like that.”

Wirick and Alex Thompson paced the Ben Logan attack with 14 kills apiece. Wirick also had 22 digs and six blocks and Thompson contributed 11 points and four blocks.

Also for the Raiders, Smith had 10 kills and 17 digs, Yoder recorded 12 digs and Wilbur dished out 41 assists.

Ben Logan now turns its focus to the sectional tournament. The Raiders open tourney play at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Trotwood-Madison at Tecumseh High School.

“We are going to have to make a quick turnaround,” said Reule. “We are going to go from the high of tonight back to the grind of practice tomorrow. Then we have to get on a bus Saturday for the tournament. We have to bounce back quickly.”

In Thursday’s junior varsity match, Ben Logan improved to 16-3 with a three-set victory. Katie Bisel had seven points, Tayler Rose tallied 12 assists and nine points and Catie Johnson added 12 digs and five points for the Raiders.

Ben Logan’s freshman squad also played and fell in two sets. For the Raiders, Kate Campbell had four kills and six digs, Jessie Griffin had two points and three digs and Megan Rutan had 11 assists.

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