MERCERVILLE, Ohio — It was a better match than the final score indicated.
The River Valley volleyball team beat South Gallia 3-0 in a non-conference matchup on Wednesday night in Gallia County. The Lady Raiders (3-6) and the Lady Rebels (3-3) went back and forth early on, but the visitors ultimately came out on top.
Both teams traded points and lead changes early on in game one. Senior Courtney Haner’s three points helped the Lady Rebels jump out to an early lead. The Lady Raiders took control late thanks to efforts from senior Ashley Gilmore, as well as juniors Brianna McGuire and Jessi Steele. River Valley took game one 25-22.
Senior Mariah Hineman helped the Lady Rebels get out to an early advantage during game two. South Gallia led by six points early, but the Silver and Black came storming back to tie the game at 17-all.
Senior Caitlyn VanScoy’s four consecutive points helped get South Gallia to the brink of winning the set. A late effort from Gilmore sealed a 25-23 comeback for River Valley.
The Red and Gold began game three with a three-point lead, but it didn’t last long. The Lady Raiders came storming back to take the lead in the set and didn’t let up. With Jacey Walter’s four consecutive service points, River Valley sealed the match win with a 25-13 game three win.
Walter led River Valley with six service points, followed by Steele with five points. Courtney Smith and Alex Truance each had four points. Gilmore and McGuire had three points apiece, while Angel Toler finished with two points. Steele led with four aces, followed by Gilmore with three and Toler and Walter with two aces each. Walter and Truance each had four kills.
“It was nice to see the girls execute,” River Valley coach Denise Toler said. “Our passing was excellent and that allowed us to get some really good hits down. We took advantage of some of the weaknesses on the defense. It was nice to see the girls get in sync, smiling and executing the way they should’ve been.”
Kirstin Burnette and Kirsten Howell led the Lady Rebels with eight service points, followed by six points from Hineman and VanScoy. Haner and Olivia Hornsby had four points, while Taylor Burnette had three points. Jayla Wolford and Rachal Colburn had two points each, while Hannah Shafer had a one point. Erin Evans had a team-high nine assists during the contest, while Hornsby had five assists. Howell had five aces, while Wolford, VanScoy, Hineman and Colburn each had four kills.
“It was a hard loss because I know we’re a much better team than what we played,” South Gallia coach Tracey Burnette said. “I need to sit down and look at better decisions I could make to help the team. I don’t blame the team. They worked hard and gave it their best shot.”
The Lady Raiders will next play at Alexander on Thursday at 6 p.m., while the the Lady Rebels will host Eastern on Monday at 6 p.m.
Donald Lambert can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106