You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

breaking news

Dayton man accused of trying to join ISIS in Syria

GMC-leading Thunderhawks top Mason with tweaked lineup

After earning nine of its first 10 wins by sweep, the Lakota East High School boys volleyball team didn’t like dropping a game to a young Mason squad.

The defending Greater Miami Conference champion Thunderhawks took the first two games, then lost a close third set and bounced back with a dominant performance in the fourth to seal a 25-10, 25-23, 24-26, 25-13 win Thursday at Mason Middle School.

“They all had their heads down like we had lost the match,” East coach Brittney Biliter said. “They take it hard on themselves, and we’ve been working on that. We were a little disappointed to lose a game, but ultimately we’ve been focusing on overcoming adversity to get the win, and we did that tonight.”

The adversity Thursday came as East (11-1, 4-0 GMC) was trying out a new lineup after losing standout hitter Evan Kuhlman, who is headed to Evansville for basketball, to a broken foot in practice Wednesday. Jacob Wiberg, normally a reserve outside hitter, started at middle blocker in Kuhlman’s place.

Prior to Thursday, the Hawks had only gone more than the minimum games needed when La Salle took them to five games on March 29, but Billiter said the team at times looked a little out of sync without Kuhlman.

“We always look to Evan when we are in a rut, so not having him, it was like, ‘Who is going to step up and take us out the rut?’ ” Biliter said. “I think we were a little lost when things got a little tight there, but we figured it out.”

The lineup change didn’t seem to have an impact early on, though. Coming off its first loss, a sweep by Elder on Tuesday that halted a 10-game win streak to open the season, East looked like a team anxious to get back in the win column.

The Hawks scored seven of the first eight points and never trailed until the second game. Reece Kuhlman had an ace and four points on that opening run.

“We just came in confident knowing we would get the ‘W,’ but we were a little out of it (in the middle two games) being without our best hitter,” Reece Kuhlman said. “We weren’t used to playing without Evan, but after losing that (third) game, we got our confidence back.”

Mason (2-5, 1-3) responded from a 5-2 deficit in the second game to take its first lead and battled the rest of the way before East closed it out for a narrow win.

The teams traded leads in the third game, but at 24-24, the Comets went ahead on a long serve by East and drove home the final point to take the set. East jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the fourth game and never looked back.

Nate Knight led Mason with 13 kills, and Max Brase had 27 assists. Outside hitters Josh Dubovec and Nathan Burbano each had 11 kills to pace East’s attack, while Trenton Kuhlman tallied 36 assists.

“We only returned one starter from last year, so the guys are just starting to play better as a group and we’re cutting down on our errors, which have been killing us, and we’ve talked about fighting in games,” Mason coach Paul Melnick said. “When you have a little success, it helps you fight through, and that carried us to a little success in those two games. They have a very good program, so I can’t fault these guys too much for losing this one.”

On Saturday, the Thunderhawks will be at home against Loveland, while the Comets host Monroe and Milford.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Meet the Dayton Dragons: Aaron Fossas, pitcher
Meet the Dayton Dragons: Aaron Fossas, pitcher

Who: Aaron G. Fossas Position: Pitcher Number: 18 Personal: R/R; 6-2, 200 pounds Born: Sept. 2, 1992 (24) Birthplace: Dudley, Mass. College: Wake Forest Acquired: Signed with Reds as a non-drafted free agent in 2016. Notable: A familiar name to the Dragons. His uncle, Tony Fossas, was a Dayton pitching coach for five seasons and is now the reds&rsquo...
5 things to know about Ohio State’s potential NFL draft picks
5 things to know about Ohio State’s potential NFL draft picks

Ohio State football doesn’t figure to match last year’s showing at the NFL draft, but it is shaping up to be another year for Urban Meyer and his coaching staff to crow about.  Here is what you want to know ahead of the 2017 draft in Philadelphia:  1. Pro Football Focus has seven Buckeyes in its top 300 prospects: Marshon...
Jake Replogle of Centerville honored by Purdue, Big Ten
Jake Replogle of Centerville honored by Purdue, Big Ten

Centerville High School graduate Jake Replogle has been named Purdue University’s male winner of the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor for 2017. Replogle was a stalwart on the Boilermakers defensive line during his football career, playing 39 games and registering 158 tackles, including 35 for loss and 7.5 sacks. He was an honorable mention...
Baseball: Xenia tops Southeastern in game that almost wasn’t
Baseball: Xenia tops Southeastern in game that almost wasn’t

Xenia and Southeastern both were staring at openings in their high school baseball schedules this week when Xenia coach Barry Claus sent Southeastern coach Craig Isaac a text. “When Alter decided they didn’t want to play us Saturday, I got in touch with Craig and asked him if we wanted to play,” Claus said after his team claimed a...
Sports Today: NFL draft day thoughts on the Bengals, Browns and Buckeyes 
Sports Today: NFL draft day thoughts on the Bengals, Browns and Buckeyes 

Welcome to NFL draft day!  The league’s nefarious plot to make us care about football year round continues to be a success, and no, I’m not complaining.  The first draft item to run across my feed this morning was about the Cleveland Browns considering taking second-round talent Mitch Trubisky with the No. 1 overall pick. ...
More Stories