TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — The Eastern volleyball team attempted to defend ‘The Nest’ for the first time in 2015 on Thursday night, but Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Federal Hocking had other intentions, as the Lady Lancers claimed a 3-1 victory.
Federal Hocking never trailed in the opening game, winning by a 25-15 count to move ahead 1-o in the match. However, Eastern (3-3, 0-1) came to life in the second game, scoring the first eight points en route to a 25-11 triumph.
The Lady Lancers took an early four-point lead in the third game, before Eastern rallied to grab a two-point advantage at 9-7. The Green and Gold held the lead until five straight service points by Hannah Dunfee gave Federal Hocking a 15-11 advantage.
Federal Hocking surged out to a 22-14 lead in the third game, but the Lady Eagles rallied to within three on the strength of four straight service points by Morgan Baer. However, the Maroon and Gold held on for the 25-21 victory, moving ahead 2-1 in the match.
Eastern scored the opening point of the fourth game, but the Lady Lancers quickly took the lead and pushed their advantage to 15-9. With EHS trailing 24-19, Lady Eagles junior Hannah Barringer served four consecutive points to pull withing one of FHHS, but the Lady Lancers scored the next point to secure the 25-23 win and the 3-1 match victory.
“Federal Hocking is a really good ball club and they came out ready to battle from game one,” Eastern head coach Katie Williams said. “With this being our first home game, we came out with some nerves, and we made some unforced errors.”
The Lady Eagles were led by Morgan Baer with 13 service points and four aces, followed by Hannah Barringer with 11 points and three aces. Kelsey Johnson and Elayna Bissell both marked seven points, while Annalisa Boano had four points and Brittney Leach added one. Bissell served two aces, while Johnson and Boano each added one.
The Lady Lancers were led by Mckenzie Steele with 11 points and three aces, and Hannah Dunfee with 11 points and two aces. Mckenna Roush posted nine points and an ace, Brittnie Jackson added eight points, Katlyn Young finished with five points and one ace, while Paige Watkins finished with one marker.
Dunfee led Federal Hocking at the net with eight kills, followed by Miranda Scott with five, Roush and Jackson with three apiece and Watkins with two. Watkins’ two blocks led the net defense for the Lady Lancers, while Steele, Dunfee, Jackson and Scott each had one. Steele finished with a team-high 21 assists, while Young marked a team-best 19 digs.
Eastern will look to avenge this loss on September 28, when the Green and Gold invade Stewart. The Lady Eagles return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Waterford.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.