Southern outlasts Lady Raiders in five


BIDWELL, Ohio — A slow start doesn’t have to ruin your entire night.

After dropping the opening game by 15 points, the Southern volleyball team fought back to win three of the next four games and take a non-conference victory over host River Valley, on Monday night in Gallia County.

The Lady Raiders (2-2) led wire-to-wire in the first game, winning by a 25-10 count. Southern (1-1) returned the favor in the second game, scoring the first seven points and never trailing en route to a 25-17 win, which tied the match at one game apiece.

River Valley led early in the third game, but Southern took the lead at 10-9. RVHS immediately regained the advantage, and pushed the edge as high as five. Trailing by three, at 18-15, the Lady Tornadoes reeled off nine straight point and eventually won the third by a 25-22 count, moving ahead 2-1 in the match.

After five ties early in the fourth game, Southern opened up a four-point, 20-16, lead. However, the Lady Raiders scored the next eight points and nine of the next 10 to take the 25-21 win, forcing a fifth and final game.

Following a 1-1 tie in the finale, SHS scored five straight points. The Lady Tornadoes led for the remainder of the game, taking the fifth by a 15-11 count to cap off the 3-2 match victory.

“After the first game, we got together in the huddle and talked about it,” second-year SHS head coach Kim Hupp said. “Those mistakes had to be eliminated and they had to come together as a team. I think that’s what they did, they came together as a team to put this win together. I think that this is a great push forward into Wednesday’s match and Thursday’s match. It feels good to win, hopefully they continue that feeling.”

SHS senior Jaiden Roberts posted a game-highs of 23 points and five aces. Marissa Brooker was next with 10 points and one ace, Paige VanMeter added seven points and two aces, while Phoenix Cleland and Jane Roush each had six points, with two aces by Cleland and one by Roush. Baylee Grueser rounded out the SHS service attack with one point.

“Game four wasn’t a pretty game, but we were able to pull that one off to force a fifth game,” first-year RVHS head coach Brent Smith said. “I do feel that we fought until the end, even though that fifth game wasn’t as tight as I would like to see. We have to improve our passing, we have to improve our hitting and we have to improve our serving. I realize that’s basically everything, but when we do that well, we win. When we do that poorly, we go home a little sad.”

The RVHS service attack was led by Carly Gilmore with 16 points, including one ace. Isabella Mershon had 12 service points and a team-best four aces, Rachel Horner added 10 points and two aces, while Jessica Roush posted seven points and one ace. Caterina Gattinara finished with six points and three aces, Kelsey Brown marked five points and two aces, while Cierra Roberts rounded out the team total with three points.

At the net, Southern was led by Jolisha Ervin with nine kills, and Baylee Wolfe with five kills and one block. VanMeter marked four kills and one block for the victors, Kassie Barton added two kills and one block, while Roush and Roberts marked one kill apiece. Roush had a team-best 23 digs for the Lady Tornado defense.

“We need to work more on our offense,” Hupp said. “We need to be smart about putting the ball where it needs to be and when we need to be smart when it comes to swinging hard or let off a little bit.”

The Lady Raider net attack was led by Horner with seven kills. Gilmore and Madison Tabor each had six kills, with seven and four blocks respectively. Gattinara had five kills and five blocks, Mershon chipped in with five kills and one block, while Brown contributed four kills to the RVHS cause. Roberts and Gilmore each had 19 digs in the victory, while Roush marked a team-best 11 assists.

“We did not pass well, which basically slowed down our attack,” Smith said. “The attack we did get over was pretty slow paced and pretty easy to handle for Southern. You have to give it to them, they won in five and when you go five, that’s a whole lot of sweating in our gym.”

This is the lone scheduled meeting between RVHS and SHS this season. Both teams are set to face Nelsonville-York next, as River Valley hosts the Lady Buckeyes on Tuesday and Southern welcomes the Orange and Brown on Wednesday.

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Southern’s Shelbi Dailey (left) digs a ball in front of teammate Paige VanMeter (right) during the Lady Tornadoes’ victory at River Valley, on Monday.
http://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2017/08/web1_8.30-SHS-Dailey.jpgSouthern’s Shelbi Dailey (left) digs a ball in front of teammate Paige VanMeter (right) during the Lady Tornadoes’ victory at River Valley, on Monday. Alex Hawley|OVP Sports

RVHS senior Carly Gilmore (3) spikes the ball in front of teammate Cierra Roberts (1), during the Lady Raiders’ loss to visiting Southern, on Monday in Gallia County.
http://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2017/08/web1_8.30-RV-Gilmore.jpgRVHS senior Carly Gilmore (3) spikes the ball in front of teammate Cierra Roberts (1), during the Lady Raiders’ loss to visiting Southern, on Monday in Gallia County. Alex Hawley|OVP Sports

River Valley’s Kelsey Brown (34) tips the ball over the net in front of teammates Jessica Roush (8) and Rachel Horner (5). (Alex Hawley|OVP Sports)
http://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2017/08/web1_8.30-wo-RV-Brown.jpgRiver Valley’s Kelsey Brown (34) tips the ball over the net in front of teammates Jessica Roush (8) and Rachel Horner (5). (Alex Hawley|OVP Sports)Alex Hawley|OVP Sports

Southern’s Baylee Grueser (23) sets the ball over the net, during the Lady Tornadoes win at RVHS, on Monday. (Alex Hawley|OVP Sports)
http://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2017/08/web1_8.30-wo-SHS-Grueser.jpgSouthern’s Baylee Grueser (23) sets the ball over the net, during the Lady Tornadoes win at RVHS, on Monday. (Alex Hawley|OVP Sports)Alex Hawley|OVP Sports

By Alex Hawley

ahawley@aimmediamidwest.com

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