BIDWELL, Ohio — In the end, the Lady Raiders settled for putting a scare or two in the Lady Bulldogs.
The River Valley volleyball team dropped a straight games decision to Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division guest Athens on Thursday in Gallia County, with the Lady Bulldogs winning by counts of 25-23, 25-17 and 25-21.
After a pair of early lead changes in the opening game, River Valley (5-6, 1-4 TVC Ohio) opened up a 9-to-4 lead. Athens, however, was back in front after scoring seven points in a row. The Silver and Black regained the lead at 16-15, but surrendered the next three points.
The Lady Raiders answered with a 5-0 run for a 21-18 lead. Athens regained the edge at 23-22, and after a 23-all tie, scored back-to-back points for the 25-23 triumph.
The teams were tied six times through the first 12 points of the second game, but the Lady Bulldogs claimed the next eight markers and led the rest of the way to the 25-17 victory.
River Valley charged out to a 9-4 lead in the third game, but the guests scored the next six points and never trailed again on their way to the 25-21 win.
Javan Gardner led the Lady Raiders with a dozen service points. Jaden Bradley was next with nine points and an ace, followed by Sydnee Runyon with five points and an ace. Hannah Jacks posted four points in the setback, while Malerie Stanley claimed three points and an ace.
At the net, Taylor Huck led the way with nine kills and a block. Mikenzi Pope posted seven kills for the hosts, Jacks added four kills and a block, while Gardner chipped in with three kills and two blocks. Bradley, Runyon, Leah Roberts and Gracee Wamsley had a kill apiece, with Bradley also recording a block and a team-best 20 assists. Stanley led the RVHS defense with 22 digs.
The Lady Raiders will have another chance to face Athens on Oct. 13 in The Plains.
Next, River Valley visits South Gallia on Monday.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.