PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Step one in pursuit of a sixth.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team — champion of the Ohio Valley Conference for the past five seasons — opened its sixth season in the league with a straight games sweep over host Portsmouth on Thursday in Scioto County.
The Blue Angels (1-1, 1-0 OVC) — who have now won 58 straight league matches, including 31 by way of sweep — never trailed in either of the first two sets, winning by counts of 25-8 and 25-7.
Portsmouth led for the first time at the start of the third game, which featured five lead changes in total. GAHS took the lead for the final time at 16-15, and after a 17-all tie, finished off the sweep with an 8-to-4 run for a 25-21 win.
For the match, GAHS posted a perfect serve percentage, with nine aces, while PHS had a 91.9 serve percentage and one ace. Gallia Academy’s side-out percentage was 54.1, while Portsmouth’s was 25.7.
Bailey Barnette led the Blue and White with 21 service points, including four aces. Maddy Petro was next with a dozen points and a trio of aces, followed by Regan Wilcoxon with 10 points. Jenna Harrison had five points and an ace in the win, while MaKenna Caldwell and Maddi Meadows had four points apiece, with an ace by Caldwell.
Petro paced GAHS at the net, posting match-highs of 10 kills and seven blocks. Abby Hammons had three kills and six blocks in the win, Chanee Cremeens finished with five kills and a block, while Barnette ended up with six kills. Emma Hammons contributed three kills and two blocks to the winning cause, Meadows chipped in with a pair of kills, while Wilcoxon claimed one kill, two blocks and a match-best 22 assists.
Defensively, Gallia Academy recorded 43 total digs, led by Barnette with nine and Harrison with eight.
After their home opener against Marietta on Monday, the Blue Angels will go for their 36th straight home victory in the OVC against Ironton on Tuesday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.