CENTENARY, Ohio — It’s alright to start slow, but only if you flip the switch when the time comes.
The undefeated Gallia Academy volleyball team struggled early in Wednesday’s Division II sectional semifinal in Gallia County, but the top-seeded Blue Angels snapped out of it and claimed a 3-0 sweep over eighth-seeded Waverly.
GAHS (23-0) claimed the initial lead in the opening game, but the Lady Tigers (10-13) jumped into a 6-3 lead. Gallia Academy briefly regained the advantage at 15-14, but WHS scored four of the next five points and led 18-16. However, the Blue Angels ended the first with a 9-2 run, sealing the 25-20 victory.
After a pair of lead changes early in the second game, the teams were tied at six, the fourth and final time they were tied. GAHS ended the second with a 19-6 run, capping off the 25-12 victory to move ahead 2-0.
Gallia Academy never trailed in the third game, taking the 25-10 decision to cap off the 3-0 sweep.
“They came out kind of flat,” GAHS head coach Janice Rosier said. “We did some talking in the huddle and got everybody moving again. We’re without Ashton Webb up front, so we’re trying to find a way to play another middle and you have to have speed to play there. Alex Barnes and Ryleigh Caldwell took that over for us today and did a really nice job.”
The Blue Angel service attack was led by Jenna Meadows with 17 points and one ace, followed by Grace Martin with 11 points and one ace. Carly Shriver had seven points and one ace in the triumph, Barnes added six points, while Caldwell and Brooke Pasquale chipped in with five and two points respectively.
At the net, GAHS was led by Martin with 17 kills and three blocks. Meadows marked 10 kills, Barnes and Hunter Copley both added four kills, while Caldwell and Shriver each had three kills. Shriver led the team with 38 assists, while Pasquale had a team-best 25 digs. Meadows was next for the Gallia Academy defense with 14 digs, followed by Martin with 13.
Jessie Silcott led Waverly with six points, followed by Jamiee Stewart with five points and one ace. Makayla Howard, Hailie Silcott and Laken Smith each had two points in the setback, with Howard marking one ace.
Smith led WHS at the net with seven kills and one block, followed by Stewart with four kills. Howard led the Lady Tiger defense with 13 digs, while Taylor Ford had a team-best eight assists.
In Saturday’s sectional final, Gallia Academy will host fifth-seeded Marietta, which swept fourth-seeded Warren on Wednesday in Vincent.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.