WATERFORD, Ohio — A tie atop the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division.
The Southern volleyball team — which dropped a 3-1 decision to Waterford on September 19, in Racine — avenged that setback on Monday night in Washington County, defeating WHS 3-1 and moving into a tie for first place in the league.
Southern (18-2, 14-1 TVC Hocking) led 8-to-3 in the opening game, and expanded the advantage to 14-8. Waterford (15-5, 14-1) scored the next seven points, taking the lead at 15-14. WHS pushed its lead to 18-15, but the Lady Tornadoes claimed the next five points and never trailed again, en rout to the 25-22 victory.
The Lady Wildcats scored the first eight points of the second and led wire-to-wire, taking the game by a 25-17 count and tying the match at 1-1.
Southern grabbed an early three-point edge in the third game, but Waterford took the lead at 7-6. The WHS advantage was short-lived, as Lady Tornadoes took the lead back at 8-7. From that point, the Green and White tied the game six times, but regained the lead, falling by a 25-22 final.
The first 15 points of the fourth game featured five lead changes and six ties. From the time they took the 8-7 advantage, the Lady Tornadoes led the rest of the way to the 25-22 victory, capping off the 3-1 win.
“We came into tonight’s game with some momentum from our win against Eastern,” said SHS head coach Kim Hupp. “I told the girls it wasn’t going to be easy and every point counted. They came out focused and made some great hustle plays to keep the intensity up. I’m very proud of the team-work they showed tonight, they were determined and played smart volleyball when it counted.”
SHS senior Sierra Cleland led the victors with 10 service points and three aces. Kamryn Smith was next with eight points, followed by Talon Drummer and Marissa Johnson with seven points apiece, including one ace by Drummer. Amanda Cole had five points and one ace in the win, Marlee Maynard added three points and one ace, while Macie Michael rounded out the Southern service attack with one point.
Cole led Southern at the net with 12 kills, followed by Smith with eight. Faith Teaford marked four kills and a team-best six blocks, while Cleland had three kills and four blocks in the win. Johnson, Michael and Drummer each posted won kill for the victors.
Southern — which shared the 2015 TVC Hocking title with both Waterford and Trimble — will clinch a share of the 2016 league crown with a win over Wahama, on Tuesday in Racine. The Lady Cats — who host Fort Frye in non-league action on Wednesday — will clinch a share of the league championship with a victory at South Gallia, on Thursday, or with a Lady Tornadoes loss to Wahama.
SHS has now won eight straight games with its last loss coming to WHS. The Lady Cats — who finished 18th in the final Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association Division IV poll — had won eight consecutive decisions headed into Monday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.