MERCERVILLE, Ohio — What goes around, comes around.
On September 7 in Bidwell, the South Gallia volleyball team dropped a 3-2 decision to in-county rival River Valley. On Wednesday night the two Gallia County Local Schools met at SGHS and the Lady Rebels got their revenge, taking a 3-1 victory over the Lady Raiders.
After 28 points were played in the opening game, River Valley (2-16) and South Gallia (3-15) were tied for the eighth time. The Lady Raiders claimed the next two points making the sixth and final lead change of the game. RVHS won the opener by a 25-19 count, making its lead in the match 1-0.
After trailing early, SGHS claimed its first lead of the second game at 22-21. RVHS tied the game at 22 and eventually took the advantage back at 25-24. However, South Gallia scored the next three points and claimed the second game by a 27-25 final, tying the match at one game apiece.
After dropping the first two points of the third game, the Lady Rebels took the lead at 4-3 and never looked back. South Gallia led for the rest of the third game, and won it by a 25-16 count, moving ahead 2-1 in the match.
After four lead changes to start the fourth game, the teams were tied at 11, the sixth and final tie of the game. From that point, SGHS scored the next three points and never trailed again. The Lady Rebels won the fourth game by a 25-21 margin, capping off the 3-1 win and ending the Lady Rebels’ five-match losing skid.
“The team worked together and they pulled together when it counted,” SGHS head coach Sarah Wright said. “We want to carry the momentum from this game into the next games and right into the tournament.”
River Valley has now lost nine consecutive decisions with its last win coming over South Gallia.
“The whole season has been very mental for them,” RVHS head coach Megan Elliott said. “Once they get down and lose a game, it’s really an up-hill battle for them to come back, and tonight they couldn’t do it. I feel they did okay with coverage, and hitting the ball wasn’t bad, but I feel like there were just little mistakes that ended up killing us in the end.”
South Gallia’s service attack was led by Taylor Burnette with 15 points and five aces. Olivia Hornsby had 10 points and four aces in the win, Christine Griffith added nine points and two aces, while Erin Evans came in with six points and one ace. Allie Sweeney contributed four points and two aces to the Lady Rebel cause, senior libero Maddie Simpson added two points, while Rachal Colburn and Aaliyah Howell both had one service point.
RVHS senior Angel Toler led the visitors with 16 points and eight aces, while Carly Gilmore posted nine points and three aces. Isabella Mershon had seven points and one ace in the setback, Jessica Steele added four points and one ace, Rayanna Adkins marked three points and one ace, while Jaden Neal posted two points for the Silver and Black.
At the net, Colburn led the Red and Gold with 17 kills and five blocks. Griffith posted six kills and three blocks for the victors, Evans added five kills, while Hornsby and Howell marked three kills apiece. Burnette — who finished with team-highs in assists and digs, with 13 and nine respectively — rounded out the SGHS net attack with two kills.
Gilmore led the guests at the net with 13 kills and two blocks, followed by Neal with five kills. Steele and Emily Adkins each had four kills for RVHS, with Steele also marking a block. Brianna McGuire rounded out the net attack for RVHS with one kill and a team-best six assists. Toler led River Valley’s defensive effort with 57 digs.
Both teams resume league play on Thursday, with South Gallia hosting Wahama and River Valley hosting Vinton County.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.