GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — One team ended a four-match losing skid. The other dropped its fourth straight decision.
The Ohio Valley Christian volleyball team moved back over the .500 mark on Thursday night following a 25-16, 25-10, 25-9 victory over visiting Hannan in a non-conference match in the Old French City.
The host Lady Defenders (6-5) trailed only once in the entire match — 1-0 in Game 3 — and led each set by at least nine points en route to earning a season sweep of the Lady Cats (2-9), whom they defeated by a 2-0 count during a tri-match in Ashton, W.Va., back on Sept. 5.
Ohio Valley Christian stormed out to an early 5-0 lead in the opener, but HHS answered with a 7-3 run to close the deficit down to 8-7. The hosts, however, reeled off 14 of the next 23 points for a 22-16 edge, then scored the final three points to wrap up a nine-point win for a 1-0 match advantage.
OVCS against jumped out to leads of 4-0 and 11-1 in Game 2, but Hannan again responded with a 7-1 run to pull back to within 12-8. The Lady Defenders scored 13 of the final 15 points — including the last eight — to take a 2-0 match lead with the 15-point win.
Shortly after Hannan took its only lead of the night in the finale, Ohio Valley Christian reeled off seven consecutive points as part of a 20-8 run that led to a 20-9 advantage. The hosts scored the final five points of Game 3 to complete the straight-game decision.
After starting the year 5-1, OVCS coach Valerie Westfall noted afterwards that the most important thing to come out of the evening was getting out with a victory — even if it wasn’t a perfect evening.
“I was happy to get everybody into the game, and we could have played better, but it was nice to finally get rid of the losing streak,” Westfall said. “It’s good to build some positive momentum moving forward, but the bad part is that we have over a week before we play again. The long stretches without games are tough, but at least we have win headed into that stretch.”
Conversely, for HHS coach Becky Ferrell, it was another tough night for her troops — but she still admired the way they battled throughout the match.
As she noted, they still have quite a bit of fight in them to do better.
“The girls keep playing hard and they keep working to get better,” Ferrell said. “Eventually, all the hard work is going to pay off … but we just have to keep working at it until it does.”
Katie Westfall led Ohio Valley Christian with 17 service points, followed by Cori Hutchison with 12 points and Emily Childers with nine markers.
Makala Sizemore and Marcie Kessinger were next with seven points apiece, while Laura Young also had a service point for the victors.
Childers led the net attack with three kills, followed by Westfall and Hutchison with two kills each. Hutchison also had the Lady Defenders’ lone block of the night.
Kassidee Bush led the Hannan service attack with eight points, followed by Halie Johnson, Jessica Dalton and Josie McCoy with two points apiece.
Bush also led the guests with two kills, while Pammie Ochs contributed one kill.
Ohio Valley Christian returns to action Friday, Oct. 6, when it travels to Teays Valley Christian for a 6 p.m. contest.
The Lady Cats return to the court on Tuesday when they travel to Tolsia for a non-conference match at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.