CENTENARY, Ohio — A closing act to remember.
After a pair of single-digit victories, the Gallia Academy volleyball team closed out its sweep of Ohio Valley Conference guest Coal Grove with a decisive 19-point victory on Tuesday night in Gallia County.
The Blue Angels (2-0, 2-0 OVC) jumped out to a four-point, 7-3, lead early in the first game, but Coal Grove battled back to take the advantage at 9-8. GAHS regained the edge at 11-10 and led the rest of the way to the 25-18 victory.
After 20 points were played in the second game, the teams were tied for the seventh time. Gallia Academy claimed the next four points and never trailed again, ultimately taking a 25-17 win, which featured an 8-to-1 closing run.
In the final game, the Blue Angels led wire-to-wire, allowing just one service point in the 25-6 match-clinching win.
Following the triumph, fifth-year GAHS head coach Janice Rosier noted that, while things got better in the third game, the Blue Angels still had plenty of work to do.
“The momentum picked up, the girls came together more as a team and started trying to utilize some of our stronger hitters,” Rosier said. “Our passes got a little better, we were struggling passing the ball tonight something awful, but it got better.
“We have to review a lot, we had some not-so-quick moments tonight. We’re used to running a lot quicker offense, pushing things a little bit harder, and that wasn’t happening tonight. We have to go back, pick up the pace and work on our effort.”
In addition to stretching their league winning streak to 31 games, the Blue Angels also improved to 22-0 all-time in OVC matches at GAHS.
“There’s pressure, I put some pressure on them, but they expect a lot out of themselves and the fans expect a lot out of them,” Rosier said. “Most of the time it tends to raise the bar, and they tend to climb to it. The OVC teams improve every time we play them, they keep getting better in the off season, and I’m glad for that.”
As a team, the Blue Angels recorded a serve percentage of 86.3, a hitting percentage of 35.7 and a side-out percentage of 72.1. The Lady Hornets combined or a serve percentage of 88.4, a hitting percentage of 6.3 and a side-out percentage of 39.7.
The Blue Angel service attack was led by Peri Martin with 11 points and Alex Barnes with 10, to go with three aces apiece. Maddie Wright recorded seven points and two aces, McKenna Caldwell had six points and four aces, while Hunter Copley and Taylor Burnette had five points apiece, with three and two aces respectively.
Ashton Webb led the Blue Angels at the net with 15 kills, followed by Barnes with 13. Wright had eight kills in the win, Aubrey Unroe added six, with both players earning a block. Maddy Petro earned three kills, Copley chipped in with one, while Martin had a match-high 42 assists.
Barnes led the GAHS defense with 12 of the team’s 34 digs.
Mattie Malone and Jaidyn Griffith each had four points to lead the Lady Hornets, while Addi Dillow and Kaleigh Murphy both marked two points.
Malone had a team-best three kills, Murphy and Griffith each added two kills, while Taylor Reynolds had one kill and one block. Dillow posted team-highs of five assists and three digs for CGHS.
GAHS will go for the season sweep of Coal Grove on Sept. 25 in Lawrence County.
The Blue Angels return to action on Thursday at Portsmouth, the site of their only-ever OVC setback.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.