MERCERVILLE, Ohio — The night began, and ended, as the Red and Gold’s Pink-Out tilt.
In between, though, it was all about the gang in green.
In officially locking up a share of the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division volleyball championship on Thursday night, the visiting Waterford Wildcats completed a sweep of South Gallia by winning 25-14, 25-19 and 25-12.
With the win, Waterford — along with Southern — won the TVC-Hocking title, both finishing at 15-1 in the league.
In fact, it is the Wildcats’ fourth consecutive conference crown — as they also shared with Southern and Trimble last year.
The Green and White — which went 17-5 in the regular season — won its fifth Hocking championship since 2010, with titles in 2013 and 2014 also being outright.
The Lady Rebels, which also honored their two seniors in Maddie Simpson and Haley Johnson, ended the regular season at 6-16 — and 5-11 in the TVC-Hocking.
Thursday night also marked the Lady Rebels’ Volley For the Cure event, in which the squad donned special pink-themed uniforms — in recognition of breast cancer awareness.
But on the court, the experienced Wildcats won going away, completing the season sweep of the young Lady Rebels in the process.
South Gallia’s only advantage in game one was 1-0, as Waterford broke the final of four ties at 7-7 — scoring six consecutive points and eventually building its cushion to as large as 18-10 following four more points in a row.
The lead later ballooned to 20-11 and 23-13, before the Wildcats won two of the final three points to take game one 25-14.
The second game was hotly-contested, with ties at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7 and 9-9 — along with five lead changes.
The Rebels led 9-7 before the Wildcats crafted four points in a row, and staked a 16-12 lead — before the Rebels claimed four straight for the match’s next-to-last tie.
But once again, Waterford won six straight — part of nine of the final dozen to take the second set 25-19.
Once the game was tied at 16-16, the only South Gallia markers were a Christine Griffith kill — and back-to-back kills by Rachal Colburn.
The Wildcats never trailed in the third game, as a Taylor Burnette ace earned the Lady Rebels a 2-2 tie.
But runs of four and seven straight points pushed the Waterford edge to 6-2, and later to 18-6 — as a 24-10 margin was its largest of the entire night.
The Wildcats amassed 36 kills, including a combined 22 by the 1-2 front-line punch of Megan Ball and Allie Kern.
Kern collected 12 and Ball notched 10, as Ball served up three aces and Kern had a block.
Of the club’s 31 assists, Jillian McCutcheon set for 20, as she also posted a pair of aces.
Burnette led the Lady Rebels with three digs, two aces and five assists, while Olivia Hornsby had a team-high four service points.
Colburn collected team-highs in kills and blocks with three apiece, while Griffith had the club’s only other block.
The Lady Rebels, the 11th-seeded squad in the Division IV sectional tournament, will travel to sixth-seeded Ironton St. Joseph on Monday for a semifinal bout.
First serve is set for 6 p.m.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106
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