TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — The quest for 400 starts where most of the first 300 originated.
After picking up his 300th career volleyball victory over Southern just 24 hours earlier, Trimble coach Howie Caldwell secured win number 301 in another old stomping ground Tuesday night following a 25-8, 24-26, 25-11, 25-19 decision over host Eastern in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup at the Eagle’s Nest in Meigs County.
Caldwell — who amassed 224 victories, seven regional appearances and a state berth in 2011 while leading the Green and Gold — watched as his Lady Tomcats (8-2, 5-0 TVC Hocking) stayed atop the league standings with the spirited 3-1 match triumph.
The Lady Eagles (5-5, 2-3) put together a stellar Game 2 rally after trailing 23-20, but ultimately never led the rest of the way. There were four ties and five lead changes in the opening game, as well as 11 ties and a dozen lead changes in the nail-biting second game.
Kelsey Johnson led the EHS service attack with eight points, followed by Morgain Little with seven points and Elayna Bissell with six points. Sidney Cook added four points, while Morgan Baer and Katlyn Barber respectively contributed three points and one point.
Barber led the hosts with 12 kills, five blocks and 13 digs, while Baer dished out a team-high 22 assists. Johnson also added 11 digs and Makenzie Brooks had two blocks.
Annalisa Boano had nine kills in the setback, followed by Little with five kills and Johnson with three kills.
Taya Lackey paced THS with 22 service points, which included 12 straight points in Game 1 that turned a slim 8-5 lead into a comfortable 20-5 cushion. Lauren Riley and Nikki Kish also scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the victors.
Roughly 75 percent of Caldwell’s victories came as head coach at Eastern. Caldwell also picked up another 69 victories while coaching at Southern in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Eastern returns to action Thursday when it travels to Belpre for a TVC Hocking match at 7:15 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.