CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — A silver medal and a milestone moment.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team finished second at the Circleville Invitational on Saturday, with the Blue Angels defeating Southeastern and the host Lady Tigers, before falling to Bishop Hartley in a match which featured GAHS senior Peri Martin picking up the 2,000th assist of her career.
Gallia Academy (14-2) — 18th in the latest OHSVCA Division II Coaches Poll — began the day against Southeastern, and led 3-0 in the opening game. The Lady Panthers took their first lead at 11-10, but surrendered the next three points and the advantage. SHS was back in front with a 6-0 run, but the Blue Angels fought back to tie it at 20. However, Southeastern claimed the next five points and the first by a 25-20 count.
The Blue Angels answered in fine fashion, leading wire-to-wire and posting a 91.7 side-out percentage en route to the 25-11 win in Game 2.
Southeastern led 4-1 in the third game, but GAHS was back in front at 6-5. After a 6-all tie, Gallia Academy scored the next 10 markers and led the rest of the way to the 25-15 triumph.
Leading the Blue Angel service attack, MaKenna Caldwell had 13 points and three aces. Martin was next with nine points, followed by Bailey Barnette with seven points and two aces. Maddie Wright and Maddy Petro claimed five points and two aces apiece, while Alex Barnes chipped in with three service points.
Barnes led GAHS at the net with 14 kills. Barnette was next with four kills, followed by Wright with three kills and a block. Petro came up with two kills and one block in the win, Martin added a kill, two blocks and a team-best 21 assists, while Abby Hammons claimed one kill.
Barnette led the Gallia Academy defense with eight of the team’s 24 digs.
Against Circleville, the Blue Angels jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but the hosts were in front at 11-9. Gallia Academy responded with an 8-to-2 run, but eventually gave the edge back to CHS at 22-21. GAHS, however, won four of the next five points and the opening game by 25-23 clip.
The Lady Tigers led 5-2 in the second set, but Gallia Academy responded with a 12-to-4 run for a 14-9 edge. Circleville took the next nine markers and then stretched lead to six, at 23-17. The Blue Angels rallied to take 10 of the next 12 points and sealed the match with a 27-25 victory.
Barnes paced GAHS against Circleville with 14 points and two aces. Martin contributed five points and an ace to the winning cause, while Petro and Caldwell chipped in with four points each, with an ace by Petro. Barnette rounded out the service attack with three points and an ace.
Barnes — who had led the defense with 14 of the team’s 48 digs — also led Gallia Academy at the net with 10 kills. Barnett had six kills, while Wright and Petro added four each, with a block by Wright. Hammons earned a kill and a block in the victory, while Martin claimed a kill and 25 assists.
Against Bishop Hartley, the Blue Angels fell behind 15-10 after a pair of early lead changes in the opening game. GAHS fought back to take the edge at 19-18, but surrendered the next two points and didn’t lead again, falling by a 26-24 count in the first.
In the second, Gallia Academy led for the first time at 6-5, but gave the edge back to the Lady Hawks at 13-12. There were two more lead changes before the Blue Angels took the lead for good at 18-17, on their way to tying the match with a 25-23 win.
Bishop Hartley saved its best for last, however, taking a wire-to-wire 25-15 victory for the championship.
Barnes led Gallia Academy with nine service points and two aces. Wright and Martin finished with four points apiece, with an ace by Wright, while Barnette and Petro ended with three points and an ace apiece. Caldwell capped off the Blue Angel service with one marker.
Wright paced the Blue and White at the net with 10 kills, followed by Barnes with nine. Petro claimed seven kills and a block, while Barnette had six kills and was the Gallia Academy’s digs leader with 14 of the team’s 43. Martin had three kills, a block and 29 assists for GAHS.
After a trip to Portsmouth on Monday, Gallia Academy will be home against Ironton on Thursday. At Thursday’s home match, GAHS will honor Martin for achieving 2,000 career assists.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.