For the high school volleyball teams of Clermont County, the sectional tournament seemed like it was over even before it started.
Five of the 10 schools had their seasons snuffed out unceremoniously in their first-round games. Bethel-Tate, Goshen, New Richmond, Clermont Northeastern and Amelia were all bounced before the first weekend was out.
However, with half of the teams sent packing early on, there was some hope for a good number of schools.
Williamsburg, the Division III No. 1 seed, had gone 16-4 through the regular season, winning the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division with a mark of 8-2. The Lady Wildcats seemed to have a solid chance of advancing, even if they had received a relatively tough draw with the No. 2, 4 and 5 seeds in their sectional.
Whatever the reason may be, however, the Lady Wildcats saw their season come to an end at the hands of the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in the second round in straight sets, 25-13, 25-16, 25-17. If it is any consolation, CHCA would go on to win the sectional and will play Mariemont on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Felicity had the looks of a solid team heading into postseason play, garnering a No. 3 seed after posting a respectable 13-7 regular season record. However, in the Lady Cardinals first-round matchup with East Clinton, Felicity was unable to close the door on the Astros.
Felicity took a quick two-game lead, winning 25-17 and 25-14 before losing the last three games to end their season, 25-23, 25-14 and 15-5.
Batavia, who went 10-12 during the regular season, earned a nine seed and defeated conference foe Bethel-Tate in straight sets in the first round before facing off with the second-seed Wyoming Cowboys.
The stellar Wyoming side, which went undefeated en route to a Cincinnati Hills League championship, took down the Lady Bulldogs in straight sets, 25-1, 25-6, 25-10.
Other high achievers during the regular season included Milford and Glen Este, both middle-of-the-pack finishers in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference.
Despite some regular season matches that the teams let get away, the Lady Eagles and Lady Trojans both found themselves playing for sectional championships.
Milford won their first two rounds matches in seven sets, defeating Fairfield in the first round (22-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-23) and Anderson in the second round (25-17, 25-22, 25-18).
The Lady Eagles had taken care of business by the books in the first two rounds. As a No. 12 seed, Milford defeated the No. 20 seed (Fairfield) and the No. 16 seed (Anderson). Unfortunately, after beating the teams they were supposed to beat based on seeding, the Lady Eagles ran into No. 5-seeded McAuley.
The Mohawks took down Milford relatively easily after a struggle in the first game, 26-24, 25-12, 25-10.
For the Lady Trojans, they similarly went chalk to the sectional championship. Seeded No. 19, Glen Este defeated the No. 21 seed, Harrison, 25-22, 27-25, 25-20 and the No. 28 seed Edgewood, 25-8, 25-12, 25-14 to reach the sectional final.
Waiting for the Lady Trojans in their sectional final was the No. 1 seed, Mount Notre Dame. One of the best teams in the state, MND defeated Glen Este 25-14, 25-11 and 25-17.