TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — Everything a rivalry should be.
The Southern and Eastern volleyball team battled through five games on Thursday night, and the visiting Lady Tornadoes claimed a 3-2 victory to remain perfect in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division.
In the opening game, Eastern (4-5, 2-3 TVC Hocking) took a lead at 2-1 and led the rest of the way, taking the victory by a 25-15 count. Southern (10-1, 6-0) answered in the second game, never trailing en route to a 25-11 victory.
The Lady Eagles responded with a wire-to-wire, 25-16 win in the third game, moving the match tally to 2-1 in favor of the hosts. Southern led by as much as 19 in fourth, and ended up taking the game by a 25-9 margin, forcing a fifth game.
After a pair of tie scores in the fifth game, the Lady Tornadoes jumped out to a six-point lead at 10-4. Eastern battled back to within two, but ultimately fell by a 15-11 final, giving SHS the 3-2 match victory.
“I think we let our nerves get to us,” SHS head coach Kim Hupp said. “We couldn’t get our passes up to run our offense the way we like to. I have 11 seniors, I told them that every opportunity they had was it for them, and that they needed to put it all out on the floor.”
The victory gives the Lady Tornadoes their sixth straight win, and moves Southern’s record to 2-0 in five-game matches. Eastern falls to 0-2 when the match reaches a fifth game, this season.
“In game one and game three, we had a lot of the momentum,” EHS head coach Katie Williams said. “We were dictating how the game was going to be played, because we weren’t making mistakes. We were passing on, we were attacking our shots and we were running our quick offense. In game two and game four, we had hitting errors, serving errors and just bone-head mistakes.”
Southern’s service attack was led by Amanda Cole with 22 points, and Kamryn Smith with 16 points and three aces. Sierra Cleland had seven points and one ace in the win, Macie Michael added five points, while Jane Roush marked four points and two aces. Rounding out the category for SHS was Sara Schenkelberg and Marissa Johnson with two points and one point respectively.
Abbie Hawley led the EHS service attack with 11 points and two aces, while Allison Barber added nine points and two aces. Morgain Little and Morgan Baer each had seven points, including one ace by Little. Katlyn Barber marked five points, while Mackenzie Brooks posted four points to round out the EHS total.
Cole also led SHS at the net with 12 kills and two blocks. Faith Teaford posted 11 kills and four blocks, Cleland added eight kills and five blocks, while Smith chipped in with two kills. Johnson had one block for the Purple and Gold, while Talon Drummer finished with one kill.
Brooks and Katlyn Barber each had 10 kills to lead the Lady Eagles, with Barber picking up one block. Little had seven kills and one block in the setback, Allison Barber added four kills and three blocks, while Baer had one kill and two blocks. Elayna Bissell finished with a team-best 13 digs for the Green, White and Gold.
Baer led the Lady Eagles in assists, while Marlee Maynard led the Lady Tornadoes in the assist category.
These teams will rematch on October 6, in Racine.
Southern returns to action on Monday, when Waterford visits Meigs County.
“I think this is good momentum for us,” said Hupp. “On Monday we have Waterford, so I think this is a big win for us, going into that. That’s going to be a very crucial game for us, too.”
Waterford — which is one of two teams SHS shared the 2015 TVC Hocking title with — is also undefeated in the nine-team league this season, boasting a 5-0 mark.
The Lady Eagles had won two of their last three matches, headed into Thursday night.
“They have to stop making mistakes,” said Williams. “When our girls learn that, to be successful, they can’t make unforced errors, then they will be consistently successful.”
EHS is on the road next, visiting Miller on Monday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.