TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — By the third game, the Lady Eagles were simply tired of having to come back.
After come-from-behind victories in the first two games of Tuesday evening’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division match in Meigs County, host Eastern capped off the sweep of visiting Wahama with a decisive wire-to-wire win in the third game.
The Lady Falcons (2-3, 1-3 TVC Hocking) led by as much as three points, at 10-7, in the opening game. However, Eastern (5-4, 3-1) took the lead with an 8-0 run and never looked back en route to a 25-17 victory.
Wahama controlled the early part of the second game, stretching its advantage to as many as four points, at 10-6. The Lady Eagles took their first lead of the second game at 13-12, and never relinquished the advantage on their way to a 25-19 win.
Highlighted by 12 straight service points from Elayna Bissell, Eastern rolled in the third game, taking the 25-10 victory to seal the 3-0 sweep.
“It is a win, but I think there are a few things that we can work on,” EHS head coach Megan Cross said. “I think Wahama really is a lot better this year. They’re scrappier and they don’t give up on the ball, that’s something that we need to work on.
“The third game was the best thing that we did,” Coach Cross added. “I felt like our momentum was good and they were talking a lot. When we did come back in the first two games, it was good. I hope we can keep momentum going throughout the season.”
The Lady Eagle service attack was led by Bissell with match-highs of 12 points and four aces. Allison Barber posted 11 points and one ace for the victors, Morgan Baer added nine points and one ace, while Morgain Little came up with seven points. Kelsey Casto had five points and one ace for the hosts, while Jenna Chadwell and Sydney Sanders each had three service points.
Wahama’s service attack was led by Harley Roush with seven points and one ace. Madison VanMeter had six points and a team-high three aces, Gracie VanMeter added five points, while Makinley Bumgarner had two points. Hannah Billups and Elizabeth Mullins each marked one service point in the match, with Billups earning an ace.
“Whenever we had good sets and good down-balls, they had a hard time playing them,” WHS head coach Matt VanMeter said. “We came out and played good the first two sets, but we still had some silly mistakes. Without those mistakes it’s a different outcome. Things just fell apart and there’s not much you can do. That last one, I think we were mentally and physically exhausted.
“Probably 80 percent of the girls when they hear that we’re playing Eastern, already have the outcome predetermined in their head,” Coach VanMeter added. “This is the first time I’ve ever been able to say ‘I think we could have beat Eastern.’ I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that since our program started, so I’m proud of each and every one of these girls.”
At the net, Eastern was led by Mackenzie Brooks with match-highs of nine kills and four blocks. Barber finished with eight kills and one block for EHS, Chadwell chipped in with seven kills, while Little marked six kills. Baer contributed four kills, two blocks and 25 assists to the Lady Eagle cause, while Barber had a team-high 17 digs.
Wahama’s net attack was led by Madison VanMeter, with team-highs of four kills and five assists. Mulllins, Billups and Gracie VanMeter each had three kills, with two blocks by VanMeter and one by Mullins. Roush and Emma Gibbs both had one kill for the Red and White, with Gibbs also earning a pair of blocks. Bumgarner led the WHS defense with six digs.
The Lady Eagles and Lady Falcons will clash again on Oct. 3 at Gary Clark Court in Mason, W.Va. Both teams continue league play on Thursday, with Eastern hosting South Gallia and Wahama visiting Waterford.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.