RACINE, Ohio — Two teams entered unbeaten. Only one could leave the same way.
The Southern volleyball team stayed perfect in both league play and overall Wednesday night following a 25-14, 25-13, 25-13 decision over visiting Wahama in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Meigs County.
The host Lady Tornadoes (4-0, 2-0 TVC Hocking) never trailed in Game 1 en route to an 11-point win, but the Lady Falcons (1-1, 0-1) did manage to claim a pair of early leads in the final two games before falling to identical 12-point margins.
The Purple and Gold — who led by double-digit margins in each of the three games — had nine different players score from the service line, including a quartet with eight more points.
Afterwards, second-year SHS coach Chris Carroll was pleased with the collective effort in the victory. He also noted that he thought Wahama had really shown signs of growth as a program.
“Tonight, we collectively played as a team. That’s always one of our biggest challenges to the kids each and every night, and tonight they all did that,” Carroll said. “We put a lot of balls down tonight, and Wahama did a good job of digging a lot of those up. They are getting a lot better, and they did a good job of fighting back at us.
“I also really liked seeing how our kids responded to that tonight. Even if we had a comfortable lead, Wahama wouldn’t quit. We had to finish it until the end.”
Sixth-year WHS coach Matt VanMeter acknowledged that he was pleased with his troops despite the outcome. He also noted that the Lady Tornadoes are, well, pretty good.
“We knew coming in that they’ve had an extra week of games and they really didn’t lose much from last year’s squad, so it was going to be a really tough match for us,” VanMeter said. “To our girls credit, we took some of their best shots and were able to do some things with them. That’s one of the best teams in our league, and we proved that we can handle it.
“Of course we want to win every game in every match, but being in our sixth year as a varsity program in this league — you are always looking for signs of growth and improvement. Seeing the way our girls played tonight, I’m not disappointed with tonight at all.”
Southern jumped out to leads of 4-0 and 8-1 in the opening game, but the guests answered with a 9-7 run to get back to within 15-10. WHS, however, was never closer as Southern twice led by 11 points en route to a 1-0 match lead.
The Lady Falcons claimed the opening point of Game 2, but SHS answered with the next nine points while eventually cruising to a 21-5 edge — its biggest lead of the entire match. Wahama did close Game 2 on an 8-4 run before falling by 12 points.
WHS rallied with consecutive points to claim a 2-1 edge in Game 3, but Southern reeled off four straight points for a 5-2 lead. The Lady Falcons managed to rally back and tie things at 7-all and 8-all, but the hosts came away with three of the next five points for a slim 11-10 cushion.
The Lady Tornadoes scored 13 of the next 14 points for a 24-11 edge and ultimately end the match with a 12-point victory.
Kamryn Smith led the hosts with nine service points, followed by Marlee Maynard, Hannah Hill and Hayley Hill with eight points apiece. Cameryn Harmon was next with six points, while Faith Teaford and Talon Drummer respectively added four and two points.
Madison Maynard and Savannah Bailey also scored a point apiece for the Lady Tornadoes, who received a team-high four aces from Hannah Hill. Ali Deem also had a team-best 10 digs.
Jansen Wolfe led SHS with 11 kills and three blocks, followed by Madison Maynard with seven kills. Harmon and Sierra Cleland also had three kills apiece for the victors, while Marlee Maynard dished out a team-high 10 assists.
Emmalee Broyles led the Wahama service attack with six points, followed by Elizabeth Mullins and Rebekah Roach with four points each. Madison VanMeter also had three service points in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.