CENTENARY, Ohio — What a way to start.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team — which won it’s first 18 games of 2015 — earned its first victory of 2016 in straight games over Ohio Valley Conference guest Chesapeake, on Thursday night in Gallia County.
The Blue Angels (1-0, 1-0 OVC) never trailed in the first game, which they won by a 25-6 margin. The first game was capped off by 12 consecutive service points by GAHS senior Ryleigh Caldwell.
Gallia Academy followed up its convincing first game win with another lopsided triumph in the second game. The Blue Angels never trailed in the second, rolling to a 25-9 victory highlighted by eight consecutive service points by senior libero Brooke Pasquale.
Chesapeake took its first lead of the night at 3-2 in the third game, but GAHS immediately took the advantage back at 4-3. The Blue Angels’ lead was short-lived, however, as the Lady Panthers took the advantage at 6-5 and expanded it out to 13-6.
GAHS began to battle back, tied the game at 18 and eventually took the lead at 20-19. The Blue Angels never relinquished that lead, marching on to a 25-21 victory to complete the 3-0 sweep.
“I was real impressed,” third-year GAHS head coach Janice Rosier said of being able to bounce back in the third game. “I have a lot of seniors out there and they led like they should have. Ryleigh Caldwell had a couple of key hits that brought us back in the game and they all played very well to bring ourselves back.”
Carly Shriver led the GAHS service attack with 14 points and two aces. Caldwell finished with 12 points and three aces, Pasquale and Peri Martin each had eight points and two aces, while Jenna Meadows finished with six points. Ashton Webb marked four points, while Grace Martin contributed three service points to the victors’ total.
Webb led GAHS at the net with eight kills and two blocks, followed by Grace Martin with six kills and two blocks. Caldwell, Meadows and Alex Barnes each had four kills, with Barnes marking two blocks and Caldwell adding one. Hannah McCormick added one kill for GAHS, Shriver had a majority of the team’s assists, while Meadows led the defense with 15 digs.
“Tonight, I think what really got us fired up was that our blocking was on,” Rosier said. “We’ve been working really hard on blocking in practice, because we struggled with it during preseason. It showed tonight that it has improved a great deal.”
Chesapeake was led by Karli Davis with seven service points and Natalee Hall with five. Jozy Jones marked two points for the Lady Panthers, while Jaylynn Pine, Rachel Prat and Brooke Webb each posted one service point.
These teams will play again on September 22, in Chesapeake.
After Saturday’s Athens Invitational, the Blue Angels will resume their OVC title defense on Tuesday, when Fairland visits Centenary.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.