Lady Raiders drop opener to Eastern


BIDWELL, Ohio — Starting the season with a sweep.

The Eastern volleyball team claimed a three games to none victory over non-conference host River Valley, in the season opener for both squads, on Monday night in Gallia County.

The Lady Raiders (0-1) led early in the first game, but once the Lady Eagles (1-0) took the advantage at 4-3, they never relinquished it on their way to a 25-12 win.

River Valley led 1-0 in the second game, but Eastern scored the next four points and never trailed again on its way to a 25-9 win.

The Lady Eagles never trailed in the third game, but never led by double digits, taking the 25-16 win to cap off the sweep.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I’m pretty happy with how the girls preformed and I’m glad that we really showed up tonight,” first-year Eastern head coach Megan Cross said afterwards. “I’m really happy with our offense, but I think our defense could use a little bit of work.”

The Eastern service attack was led by senior Mackenzie Brooks with 12 points, including two aces. Morgain Little and Kelsey Casto both recorded 11 service points, with Little earning four aces and Casto adding a pair of aces. Morgan Baer had seven service points in the win, Allison Barber added six points and two aces, while Sidney Cook had two points and two aces.

Caterina Gattinara led the River Valley service attack with four points, including one ace. Next was Rachel Horner with three points, followed by Jessica Roush with two points and one ace. Kelsey Brown, Isabella Mershon, Carly Gilmore and Kasey Birchfield each had one service point, with Brown recording an ace.

“I’d like to see our passing continue to improve,” first-year River Valley head coach Brent Smith said. “With our offensive attack, it felt like were were doing a few too many tip-overs. Eastern is a well-established, good volleyball school, so, even though it was a little lop-sided on the score, hanging with them gives me optimism. We’ll keep working and hope that tomorrow is a brighter day.”

At the net, the Lady Eagles were led by Brooks with nine kills and three blocks. Barber posted seven kills and team-bests of four blocks and 22 digs. Little added four kills to the winning cause, Casto chipped in with a trio of kills, Cook marked two kills in the win, while Baer had one kill, one block and a team-best 25 assists.

For the hosts, Gilmore marked team-highs of three kills, seven blocks and 17 digs. Horner and Gattinara each had two kills and one block, while Mershon added two kills of her own. Birchfield posted one kill and two blocks in the setback, while Madison Tabor and Rayanna Adkins each had one kill. Roush and Mershon both had three assists to lead the RVHS ball handling.

This is the lone scheduled meeting between the Lady Eagles and Lady Raiders this season. River Valley is back in action on Tuesday at South Gallia and then on Thursday at Belpre, while Eastern hosts Meigs on Thursday for its next game.

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River Valley senior Rayanna Adkins (16) attempts a spike alongside teammate Isabella Mershon (left), during Monday’s non-league match at RVHS.
http://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2017/08/web1_8.23-RV-Adkins.jpgRiver Valley senior Rayanna Adkins (16) attempts a spike alongside teammate Isabella Mershon (left), during Monday’s non-league match at RVHS. Alex Hawley|OVP Sports

River Valley junior Rachel Horner (5) hits the ball over the net during the Lady Raiders’ loss to Eastern, on Monday in Bidwell.
http://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2017/08/web1_8.23-RV-Horner.jpgRiver Valley junior Rachel Horner (5) hits the ball over the net during the Lady Raiders’ loss to Eastern, on Monday in Bidwell. Alex Hawley|OVP Sports

By Alex Hawley

ahawley@aimmediamidwest.com

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.