Eastern soars past Blue Angels
by Bryan Walters firstname.lastname@example.org
CENTENARY, Ohio — The streak continues.
The Eastern volleyball team claimed its 10th straight victory over host Gallia Academy Wednesday night following a hard-hitting 25-21, 25-16, 17-25, 25-20 decision in a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.
The visiting Lady Eagles (9-1) — winners of seven consecutive contests — trailed 1-0 in the opening game, then never trailed again en route to a commanding two-games-to-none lead in the match. The Blue Angels (6-5) rallied to take Game 3 by eight points, but EHS broke away from an 8-all tie in the finale to wrap up the 3-1 match decision.
Both teams recorded over 30 kills and at least nine blocks in the contest, as GAHS posted 34 kills, nine blocks and had five aces in the setback. Eastern came away with 31 kills, 12 blocks and 11 aces in the triumph.
There were four ties and five lead changes in Game 1, with the Lady Eagles claiming their largest lead of the opener at 12-5. Gallia Academy rallied to knot things up 16-all, but the guests countered with a 9-5 run to secure the four-point decision and a 1-0 match lead.
Eastern never trailed in Game 2 and led by as many as nine points, which happened on the final point — allowing EHS to earn a 25-16 win and a 2-0 match advantage.
The Blue Angels retaliated with an early 4-0 cushion and never trailed in Game 3, as the hosts extended their lead out to as much as 23-14 before claiming a 25-17 win — cutting the match deficit down to 2-1.
Both teams battled through four ties and five lead changes in Game 4, but Eastern took the final lead of the night at 9-8 and never looked back. EHS twice led by as many as six late in the finale and Gallia Academy was never closer than 11-10.
Lindsay Wolfe led the EHS service attack with 10 points, followed by Erin Swatzel and Maddie Rigsby with nine points apiece. Jordan Parker added eight points, while Kelsey Johnson and Katie Keller each contributed five points to the winning cause. Kaitlyn Barber also had four points for the Lady Eagles.
Rigsby led the guests with four service aces, followed by Wolfe with three. Johnson, Keller and Swatzel also added two aces apiece for the Eastern.
Kassie Shriver led GAHS with 12 service points and four aces, followed by Micah Curfman with seven points. Haleigh Caldwell, Jenna Meadows and Maggie Westfall each had six points in the setback, while Chelsy Slone chipped in four points and one ace.
Parker and Swatzel led Eastern with 10 kills apiece, followed by Rigsby with nine kills. Keller led the guests with five blocks, while Parker and Swatzel respectively contributed three and two blocks. Parker had a team-best 47 digs, while Wolfe dished out 29 assists.
Westfall led the Blue Angels with 15 kills, followed by Caldwell with 11 and Curfman with four kills. Slone recorded a team-best four kills to go along with two kills. Brooke Pasquale led the hosts with 16 digs, while Shriver handed out a game-high 32 assists.
On Tuesday, Eastern extended its Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division winning streak to 36 consecutive matches following a 25-8, 25-14, 25-15 decision over host Belpre.
Parker led the Lady Eagles with 15 kills, followed by Swatzel with 10 kills. Cline had a team-high 17 digs, while Wolfe led the passing attack with 26 assists.
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