The Heath High school girls volleyball team had little margin for error Thursday against the top squad from the final Division III state poll in a regional semifinal at Findlay.
"We had to play mistake-free," coach Shela Croom said after the Bulldogs lost 23-25, 25-16, 25-11, 25-22 to Lima Central Catholic, which returned 11 players from last year's state-championship team. "We knew we had to play our best in every phase of the game, and we didn't quite do that."
A 6-1 run in the opening game produced a 12-11 lead and the Bulldogs won the first game before the Thunderbolts swept the next three, in part by totaling 11 service aces.
Central Catholic improved to 24-1 and will play St. Henry in Saturday's regional final. The Bulldogs advanced to regional play for a second consecutive season and finished 18-4, also falling short in a semifinal last year.
In the fourth game, Heath trailed 13-5 but rallied to forge a 20-all tie. The Bulldogs never took the lead, however. Courtney Kramer had 13 kills and four blocks and Kenisha Body totaled six kills, five assists and three blocks. Brittany Waddell had a postseason-high 23 digs.
"We're disappointed," Croom said, "But we had another good year."