MERCERVILLE, Ohio — One team was coming away with its first win of the 2016 season. The only question was which one?
The South Gallia volleyball team snapped a six-match losing skid in convincing fashion Thursday night following a straight-game 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 decision over visiting Wahama in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Gallia County.
The Lady Rebels (1-6, 1-4 TVC Hocking) never trailed in the opening game en route to a six-point win, but the hosts had to put in a little extra effort over the next two games to keep the Lady Falcons (0-6, 0-5) from picking up their first game victory of the season.
There were eight ties and nine lead changes in Game 2, with SGHS breaking away from a 15-all tie by scoring 10 of the final 14 points to claim a 2-0 match advantage with another six-point win.
WHS rallied to secure a 5-2 lead in the third game, which also featured seven ties and eight lead changes throughout the course of the finale.
The Lady Rebels broke away from a 14-all contest by scoring 11 of the final 17 points of the game — including the last three points — while wrapping up the 3-0 match triumph.
After suffering through a pair of five-game non-conference defeats and four consecutive league setbacks, first-year SGHS coach Sarah Wright noted that she made some adjustments in hopes of landing the team’s first win.
By night’s end, Wright was pleased with how those same adjustments turned out.
“We made some adjustments to our normal lineup and they did an outstanding job of working together,” Wright said. “We did a good job of getting our serves in when we needed to and we were productive at the net. Overall, I just thought we played really well as a team and this is something that we can grow from.”
For WHS coach Matt VanMeter, the final outcome was again hard to swallow because the same mistakes once again popped up as in previous losses.
Then again, VanMeter also believes that once the girls start executing the fundamentals better — better results will occur.
“Right now it’s the basics with us,” VanMeter said. “We are not getting serves over the net and we are not handling the first passes well, which leads to a lot of frustrating games. The girls know what to do and when they decide that they want to play volleyball, it will all come together. The girls, however, have to want it if they want the results to change.”
Aaliyah Howell led the SGHS service attack with seven points, followed by Maddie Simpson and Christine Griffith with six points apiece. Hannah Shafer and Amaya Howell also added five points each to the winning cause.
Olivia Hornsby and Taylor Burnette were next with four points apiece. Rachal Colburn completed the Lady Rebels’ point total with with two points.
Colburn led the net attack with 11 kills and a block, followed by Erin Evans with five kills and Shafer with four kills. Griffith also had three kills for the victors.
Maddy VanMatre led Wahama with 10 service points, followed by Madison VanMeter and Elizabeth Mullins with five points each.
Hannah Billups was next with two service points, while Alexis Mick and Grace Hill also chipped in a point apiece.
VanMatre and Mullins each contributed two kills in the setback, with Hill also providing one kill.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.