RACINE, Ohio — Some things never change.
The Eastern volleyball team spoiled Southern’s first-ever varsity sporting event at the new gymnasium Tuesday night following a spirited 25-16, 25-17, 25-15 decision in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Meigs County.
The Lady Tornadoes (10-10, 9-6 TVC Hocking) finally ushered in a new era of SHS sports by hosting their first match in the new high school facility, which came in a Volley for the Cure contest against their in-county rivals.
The Lady Eagles (19-2, 14-1) fell behind 1-0 in all three games and trailed by at least four points in each contest, but the guests rallied back from each of those early deficit to secure the straight-game triumph.
Eastern, with the win, claimed a season sweep of the Lady Tornadoes after posting a 25-11, 25-19, 25-19 in the first match at EHS back on September 17. It was also the Lady Eagles’ eighth straight season sweep of Southern.
Eastern has now won 18 consecutive matches over the Lady Tornadoes, who last defeated EHS by an 18-25, 25-20, 16-25, 25-22, 15-11 margin back on September 29, 2005 at Charles W. Hayman Gymnasium. Two of those 18 losses also came in postseason contests back in 2006 and 2012.
Southern stormed out to early leads of 4-0 and 6-1 in Game 1, but the Lady Eagles countered with a 22-8 surge to claim their biggest lead in the opener at 23-14. Both teams traded two points apiece the rest of the way, allowing EHS to secure an early 1-0 match lead.
There were 10 ties and 11 lead changes overall in Game 2, with Eastern finally gaining control after breaking away from a 14-all tie with an 11-3 surge to claim an eight-point win and a 2-0 match advantage. Southern held seven of the 11 leads produced in Game 2.
The Lady Tornadoes again took control early on in the finale, as the hosts captured an early lead of 8-3. Eastern rallied to tie things up at nine and again at 11, then went on 14-4 charge down the stretch to wrap up the straight-game decision.
Maddie Rigsby led the EHS service attack with 11 points, followed closely by Erin Swatzel and Lindsay Wolfe with 10 points apiece. Kelsey Johnson was next with seven points, while Jordan Parker and Katie Keller respectively rounded things out with five points and two points.
Parker, Johnson, Wolfe and Rigsby each contributed two aces to the winning cause, while Swatzel and Keller added an ace apiece for the Lady Eagles.
Parker led the Eastern net attack with 13 kills, followed by Rigsby with eight kills and Swatzel with seven kills. Keller and Johnson also added two kills and one kill, respectively, for the victors. Swatzel and Rigsby each had three blocks, while Parker and Keller also added a block apiece.
Wolfe led the offense with a game-high 27 assists, while Parker, Rigsby and Paige Cline paced the defense with 23 digs apiece.
Ali Deem led the SHS service attack with eight points and two aces, followed by Celestia Hendrix with five points and Marlee Maynard with three points. Katie Jenkins, Hannah Hill, Madison Maynard and Jansen Wolfe also scored a point apiece in the setback, with Jenkins and Marlee Maynard also recording an ace each.
Wolfe and Madison Maynard led the Southern net attack with five kills apiece, followed by Jordan Huddleston with three kills and Hendrix with two kills. Hill and Darien Diddle also had a kill each for the hosts, who received four blocks from Wolfe and one block from Marlee Maynard.
Marlee Maynard also led the offense with eight assists, followed by Jenkins with four assists.