RACINE, Ohio — A sweep to start the year.
The Southern volleyball team claimed a non-conference victory in straight games on Tuesday night, as the Lady Tornadoes topped visiting Meigs by counts of 25-7, 25-15 and 25-21.
Southern (1-0) never trailed in the first game, ending the 18-point victory with an 18-3 run.
The Lady Tornadoes took a 2-1 lead early in the second game, and quickly pushed the advantage to 10-3. Meigs (0-1) trimmed the margin to within four points at 14-10, but the hosts scored 11 of the next 16 points, moving ahead 2-0 in the match.
Southern began the third game with a 10-5 run, but Meigs rattled off nine straight points to take the 14-10 advantage. SHS regained the lead at 17-16, but MHS quickly took the advantage back by a 19-17 count.
However, SHS answered with five straight points and led 22-19. The Lady Tornadoes outscored MHS 3-to-2 from that point, capping off the three-game sweep.
The SHS victory is also the first varsity win for first-year SHS head coach Kim Hupp, who was pleased with her team afterwards.
“We wanted to come out and play hard,” Hupp said. “We wanted to do things that we’ve been working on in practice and I think we did that. In the third set, we got a little out of focus, but we came out with the win. We’ve been really working on our serve receive and we’re not giving up points there, where we had struggled over the summer.”
Senior Sierra Cleland led the Purple and Gold service attack with 11 points and two aces. Amanda Cole posted 10 points and two aces, while Sara Schenkelberg and Kamryn Smith each marked eight points, with Schenkelberg picking up one ace.
Marlee Maynard finished with seven service points, Talon Drummer added four points with two aces, while junior libero Jane Roush marked two service points.
At the net, Southern was led by Faith Teaford with seven kills and 14 blocks, followed by Cole with seven kills and three blocks. Smith finished with six kills, Cleland added one kill and two blocks, while Macie Michael chipped in with one kill.
Fourth-year Meigs head coach Lori Carter — who has 11 players returning from last season’s team — was looking for the Lady Marauders to pick where they left off last year, which began to happen before the night was over.
“The first game, I don’t know what happened,” Carter said. “They weren’t talking, and they weren’t communicating. After the first set, I pulled them in the locker room and told them ‘this is not my team from last year’. In the second set, I saw glimpses of my team, they just have to jell and find that again. In the third set, I couldn’t be happier with them, I saw last year’s team slowly coming out and that’s what I want.”
Meigs’ service attack was led by senior libero Jordan Roush with eight points, including four aces. Kassidy Betzing, Maddie Hendricks and Devyn Oliver each posted three service points, with Betzing scoring a pair of aces. Alliyah Pullins and Morgan Lodwick rounded out the Maroon and Gold service attack with two points and one point respectively.
Betzing led Meigs at the net with seven kills and four blocks, followed by Pullins and Devin Humphreys with four kills apiece. Oliver marked two kills, two blocks and 14 assists, Paige Denney added two kills, while Lodwick and Maddie Fields each had one kill. Meigs’ defense was led by Roush with six digs and Pullins with five.
Southern has the rest of the week off, but resumes non-league play on Monday when River Valley visits Racine.
“We’ve started on a high note here,” Hupp said. “We have something to look forward to and the girls can build some confidence going into Monday.”
The Lady Marauders return to action in their home opener, on Thursday against Eastern, which is currently 1-0.
“I’m looking for my third set team,” Carter said. “I’m looking for us to start the game like that, strong, talking and communicating. We’ll be ready for Thursday.”
Southern and Meigs will play again this season on September 10, as part of a tri-match with Belpre, in Racine.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.