TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — Setting the tone from the start.
The Eastern volleyball team claimed a 3-1 victory over non-conference guest Athens on Monday at ‘The Nest’, winning the opening game 25-7.
The Lady Eagles (4-3) battled through just one tie, at 1-1, in the 18-point Game 1 win.
The Lady Bulldogs scored the first seven points of the second game, but Eastern took the lead at 9-8. There were three more lead changes in the set, with AHS establishing the lead for good at 18-17. The guests won the second by a 25-23 count, tying the match at a game apiece.
Eastern led wire-to-wire in the third set, stretching the margin to double digits, at 21-11, and holding on for the 25-23 win.
The Lady Eagles took the lead at 2-1 in the fourth game and never trailed again. Athens was within a point, at 17-16, but Eastern closed the night with an 8-to-2 run, sealing the 3-1 win with a 25-18 triumph.
Sydney Sanders led the victors with 16 service points, including two aces. Brielle Newland was next with 14 points and two aces, followed by Jenna Chadwell with 13 points and two aces. Tessa Rockhold contributed nine points and two aces to the winning cause, Olivia Barber chipped in with six points and an ace, while Megan Maxon added three points.
Eastern’s net attack was led by Barber with 12 kills and two blocks, and Layna Catlett with 11 kills and one block. Maxon finished with 10 kills, Rockhold added nine kills and a block, while Chadwell had six kills and a block. Alisa Ord came up with a pair of kills in the win, while Sanders and Newland had one each, with Sanders leading the defense with 17 digs, and Newland dishing out a team-best 30 assists.
These teams will rematch on Oct. 1 in Athens County. Eastern hosted Waterford on Tuesday.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.