BIDWELL, Ohio — It’s not how you start, but rather how you finish that’s important.
The River Valley volleyball team won the opening game over non-conference guest Southern, Wednesday night in Gallia County, but the Lady Tornadoes stormed back to win the next three games and take the match by a 3-1 count.
A back and forth start to the first game had eight ties and five lead changes with River Valley (0-2) erasing a five-point deficit to claim a 25-22 victory.
The Lady Raiders jumped out to a 8-5 lead in the second game, but Southern (1-0) answered with a 16-to-2 run, fueled by nine straight service points by senior Madison Maynard. The Lady Tornadoes went on to win the second game 25-13, tying the match at 1-1.
RVHS was held to just three service points in the third game as Southern charged to a 25-9 win, highlighted by nine service points by senior Cameryn Harmon.
The fourth game, which featured 11 ties and six lead changes, ended on a 12-3 run by the Purple and Gold, who sealed the 3-1 match victory with a 25-18 victory in the fourth.
“I thought we came out a little bit nervous tonight,” second year Southern head coach Chris Carroll said. “Our nine seniors, knowing that this is their final season came out and played a little nervous. I think once they relaxed and played the way they’re capable of playing then we were a lot better.”
Harmon led the Lady Tornadoes with 15 service points, followed by Madison Maynard with 11 and Marlee Maynard with 10. Kamryn Smith and Ali Deem each had six points, Talon Drummer added five, while Haley Hill and Savannah Bailey both finished with three service points.
“We have to work on a few things; execution, trust in your teammates, being mentally big and closing out games,” second year River Valley head coach Denise Toler said. “The girls have the ability, they just have to get in there and do what they know how to do. We obviously need to work on defense, we changed our defensive system this year and we’re still trying to work it out.”
Ashley Gilmore paced the Lady Raiders with 11 service points, including two aces, while Courtney Smith marked six points and one ace. Angel Toler marked four points, Alex Truance added three points and two aces, Brianna McGuire finished with two points and an ace, while Jacey Walter, Jayanna Armstrong and Jessi Steele each marked one point.
Truance led RVHS at the net with eight kills and two blocks, followed by Walter with five kills and four blocks. Gilmore, Smith, McGuire, Steele and Armstrong each posted one kill in the setback, while Smith marked a team-high nine assists. Truance led the Lady Raider defense with four digs, followed by Toler with three.
RVHS, which visited Belpre on Thursday, will return home on Monday for a non-conference clash with Federal Hocking. After a lengthy break, Southern will visit Meigs on Tuesday in a non-league tilt. This is the lone scheduled meeting between the Lady Raiders and Lady Tornadoes this season.
Addition Southern statistics were not made available by presstime.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.