CENTENARY, Ohio — Just one road bump in an otherwise great evening for the Blue Angels.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team charged out of the starting gates, claiming the first two games of Tuesday night’s non-conference showdown with visiting Meigs. The Lady Marauders took the third game, but eventually fell to the Blue Angels by a 3-1 tally.
Gallia Academy (18-0) — which is ranked 13th for the second straight week in the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association Division II Poll — never trailed in the opening game, leading by as many as 14 en route to a 25-13 victory.
Meigs (4-15) held with the Blue Angels at the start of the second game, trailing by just one at 9-8. However, Gallia Academy scored 16 of the next 17 points to cap off the 25-9 triumph.
The Blue Angels stormed out to an early lead in the third game, only to have Meigs battle back to take the advantage at 10-8. GAHS rallied to tie the game at 15, but the Maroon and Gold answered with a 10-4 run to seal a 25-19 win and force a fourth game.
The Blue and White jumped out to an early 8-1 lead in the fourth game, but surrendered eight consecutive points as Meigs took a 9-8 advantage. However, the Lady Marauders were held without a service point over the remainder of the game, allowing GAHS to take the fourth by a 25-13 count and the match by a 3-1 tally.
“We have a good habit of coming out pretty strong and playing the first game well, and then we tend to back off a little bit,” second year GAHS head coach Janice Rosier said. “It didn’t happen tonight until the third game, but we really backed off and then we had to find that drive and ambition to keep them going. We have to take it one game at a time, Meigs played a good game and dug up a lot of things.”
The victors were led by junior Carly Shriver with 27 service points, including seven aces. GAHS junior Jenna Meadows posted 12 points and two aces, Ashton Webb added nine points and one ace, Jordan Walker chipped in with eight points and three aces, while Abby Wood had five points and two aces in the win. Rounding out the GAHS scoring were Grace Martin with four points and an ace, and Brooke Pasquale with three points and an ace.
“In the first two sets, I think we were a little intimidated by their record,” third year Meigs head coach Lori Carter said. “I think they finally realized that ‘hey, we can do this’ and they came together as a team, but unfortunately we didn’t come out in the fourth set. I am so impressed with the defense of all six of them, that’s one thing we’ve working on. They proved all the hard work this evening.”
The Lady Marauders were led by freshman Kassidy Betzing with 14 points, including seven aces. MHS junior Devyn Oliver had eight points and four aces, Maddie Hendricks contributed five points and one ace, Alliyah Pullins added three points and two aces, while Jordan Roush finished with three points and one ace. The Meigs service attack was rounded out by Morgan Lodwick with two points and Allie Hanstine with one.
At the net, GAHS was led by Walker with 16 kills and seven blocks, followed by Webb with 11 kills and one block. Martin and Ryleigh Caldwell both hammered home nine kills, Meadows added eight, while Hanna Johnson finished with two. Meadows led the Blue Angel defense with 27 digs, followed by Martin and Pasquale with 17 each. Shriver finished with a match best 27 assists, while Martin and Allison McGhee each added four.
Betzing also led Meigs at the net with five kills, while Oliver, Humphreys and Pullins each had two. Hanstine and Lodwick both posted one kill in the setback. The MHS defensive effort was led by Roush with 10 digs, followed by Oliver with eight. Oliver marked a team-best five assists in the loss, while Roush and Lodwick each had one.
The Blue Angels return to action at Logan on Thursday, where they will clash with the Lady Chieftains in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League tilt. Meigs will travel to Vinton County on Thursday, where the Lady Marauders will try to complete the season sweep of the Lady Vikings in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division showdown.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.