Lady Rebels advance to D-4 sectional final
by Bryan Walters
MERCERVILLE, Ohio — For the second consecutive year, the South Gallia volleyball team earned a postseason win in its home finale following a 25-3, 25-16, 25-5 decision over visiting Ironton Saint Joseph Monday night in a Division IV sectional semifinal contest in Gallia County.
The host Lady Rebels (13-9) — who last year captured the program’s first-ever sectional title with a 15-25, 25-17, 25-7, 25-10 over Southern — had little trouble with the 11th-seeded Lady Flyers, who managed just 24 points in the straight-game setback.
South Gallia — a six-seed — accumulated 29 kills and 24 aces in the triumph, which advanced the Red and Gold to the sectional final at 6 p.m. Thursday against third-seeded Waterford. WHS (18-4), which will host the contest, swept the season series by margins of 25-9, 25-10, 25-13 at home and 25-16, 25-12, 25-18 at South Gallia.
The Lady Rebels also had a pair of seniors reach individual milestones, as Meghan Caldwell and Ellie Bostic respectively picked up their 800th and 500th kills of the careers. SGHS called timeout after each occasion for an brief acknowledgement from the home crowd.
South Gallia never trailed in Game 1 after establish an early 6-0 lead, then Shelby Sanders served up 13 consecutive points for a 20-2 advantage. The hosts completed the opener with a 5-1 run to wrap up the 22-point outcome.
Game 2, however, proved to be a little tougher, particularly early on. There were six ties and seven lead changes overall, and St. Joe claimed its biggest lead of the night at 7-4. After winning back the serve, Caldwell hammered down her 800th kill to spark a 5-0 run for a 9-7 edge.
The Lady Flyers battled back to claim an 11-10 edge, but Caldwell ripped off eight straight service points to turn an 11-all game into a 19-11 SGHS cushion. The Lady Rebels ultimately led by as much as 24-13 before claiming the nine-point decision.
There were three ties and four lead changes in the finale, and the last tie came at five-all. Sara Bailey served up the final 19 points of the game to wrap up the straight-game decision. Bostic’s 500th kill came in the middle of that run at 18-5.
Bailey led the service attack with 22 points and 10 aces, followed by Shelby Sanders with 13 points and three aces. Caldwell added 12 points and two aces, while Bailie Corbin had nine points and six aces.
Alicia Hornsby contributed three points and two aces to the winning cause, while Brynn Adams had two points and one ace.
Bostic led the net attack with 12 kills, followed by Caldwell with six and Adams with five. Courtney Haner had three kills, Sanders added two kills and Bailey also had one kill for the hosts.
Hannah Miller led Ironton Saint Joseph with seven service points.
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