GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — If it wasn’t for bad luck, the Lady Defenders would have no luck at all.
The Ohio Valley Christian volleyball team suffered its fourth consecutive setback on Tuesday night following a 25-23, 25-18, 18-25, 25-14 loss to visiting Grace Christian during a non-conference match in the Old French City.
The Lady Defenders (5-5) battled through 14 ties and 18 lead changes over the course of four games, but the hosts never led by more than two points in the first two sets before rolling to a seven-point win in Game 3.
Unfortunately for OVCS, the Lady Soldiers (9-4) led wire-to-wire in Game 4 and wrapped up the 3-1 match decision with an 11-point win in the finale.
There were 11 ties and a dozen lead changes in the opening game alone, and neither squad led by more than four points during Game 1.
Ohio Valley Christian took its largest lead at 23-21, but the guests rallied with four straight points to claim a two-point win and a 1-0 match advantage.
Both teams traded leads out to a two-all tie in Game 2, but Grace Christian responded by scoring 20 of the next 33 points en route to taking its largest lead at 22-13.
The hosts countered with a 5-1 run to close to within 23-18, but the Lady Soldiers scored the final two points for a seven-point win and a 2-0 match lead.
OVCS broke away from a three-all tie by scoring 13 of 15 points to claim its largest lead of the night at 16-5. GCS rallied with a 13-7 run to close back to within 23-18, but the hosts answered with consecutive points to claim a seven-point win while cutting the match deficit down to 2-1.
The Lady Soldiers jumped out to leads of 4-0, 10-3 and 20-10 before trading points the rest of the way for an 11-point win and the 3-1 match triumph.
Katie Westfall and Cori Hutchison led the OVCS service attack with nine points apiece, followed by Emily Childers with six points and Makala Sizemore with five points.
Liz Mansfield was next with four service points, while Marcie Kessinger and Lauren Ragan respectively added three points and one point.
Westfall led the hosts with five kills, while Hutchison and Childers each contributed three kills. Sizemore also had two kills, while Hutchison chipped in a team-best two blocks.
Morgan Maynard led Grace with 12 service points, followed by Shay Cicenas and Hannah Benge with nine points apiece. Malorie Branson was next with eight points and Lindsey Copenhaver added seven points.
Both Rachel Tanner and Mackenzi Pyle also had three points apiece for the victors.
Ohio Valley Christian defeated the Lady Soldiers in five games during their first matchup at Grace back on Sept. 1
The Lady Defenders return to action Thursday when they host Hannan at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.