The Dublin Coffman High School girls volleyball team wasn't able to win the Gold Division of the Cincinnati Mother of Mercy Fall Classic for a third consecutive season when it competed in the event on Sept. 24-25.

The Dublin Coffman High School girls volleyball team wasn't able to win the Gold Division of the Cincinnati Mother of Mercy Fall Classic for a third consecutive season when it competed in the event on Sept. 24-25.

But after the Shamrocks went 2-2 to capture the Bronze Division title despite competing without injured starting outside hitter McKenzie Bailey, coach Mary Anne Souder said they proved they are still one of the top Division I teams in the state.

Coffman finished second in the Division I state tournament for a second consecutive season last year, losing to Toledo St. Ursula 15-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-18 in the final.

"We really wanted to win the (Gold Division) championship again, but we have a young team and I knew it was going to be difficult because a lot of the best teams from around the state were competing in this tournament," Souder said. "The good news is we're continuing to get better, and if we can get everyone healthy, I think we can make another run at the state tournament because the girls surprise me with their improvement every day."

On the first day of the Mother of Mercy Fall Classic, Coffman lost to Rocky River Magnificat 25-19, 23-25, 25-22 and lost to Toledo Central Catholic 25-19, 25-21 in pool play.

"Magnificat has seven seniors and those teams both have a ton more experience playing in big matches than most of our players," Souder said.

"I knew it was going to be really tough to win once I got our draw, but you don't go to a tournament like this to play easy teams."

In Bronze Division action, Coffman beat Strongsville 25-23, 27-25 in a semifinal and defeated Hartley 25-19, 25-19 in the final.

Magnificat is ranked third in the Division I state poll ahead of Coffman (sixth), Toledo Central Catholic (13th) and Strongsville (17th), while Hartley is ranked second in the Division II state poll.

"I was a little bit surprised with how well we performed under that kind of pressure," Souder said. "The girls all gave up their homecoming weekend to compete in this tournament, and they were focused. Our serve and serve-receive have been really good."

Bailey has missed all but two of Coffman's matches while recovering from a leg injury, but she is expected to return before the start of the postseason.

The Shamrocks also are playing without sophomore opposite hitter Kaitlyn Curry, who will miss the entire season because of a knee injury.

Cassie Hausfeld and Beatrice Hannan have switched from middle hitter to outside hitter this season, and they are leading Coffman in kills and aces.

Jenn Vargo, who started at outside hitter last season, is starting at setter and is leading the Shamrocks in assists. Libero Morgan Yeager is leading Coffman in digs.

"I don't think we've missed a beat and our younger kids are getting better because of their extra playing time, which will make our team better when McKenzie returns," Souder said.

The Shamrocks will get the opportunity to face the top-ranked Division I team in the state on Sunday, Oct. 2, when they play at Toledo St. Ursula.

The Arrows, who are led by 5-foot-10 senior outside hitter Erin Williams, 6-1 junior middle hitter Maddie Burnham and 5-11 senior outside hitter Cassidy Croci, were 13-0 before playing Magnificat on Sept. 27.

"They're big and they swing hard, so we have to block well and our defense will have to pick it up when they hit over our block," Souder said. "Offensively, we've just got to find the holes in their defense."