BIDWELL, Ohio — One stretch per game made all the difference.
The River Valley volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division guest Nelsonville-York on Thursday in Gallia County, with the winning team in each game going on at least a 6-0 run.
River Valley (5-4, 2-2 TVC Ohio) led initially in the first game of the evening, but Nelsonville-York turned a 2-1 deficit into a 12-2 lead. The Lady Raiders battled back to within two points, at 19-17, but the Lady Buckeyes claimed six of the next eight points and the 25-19 victory.
The Lady Raiders took their first lead of the second game at 4-3, and stretched the advantage as high as six, at 14-8. However, Nelsonville-York scored 11 of the next 12 points and led 19-15.
RVHS regained the lead at 23-22, but NYHS scored the next two points and moved into a game-point situation. The Lady Raiders kept Nelsonville-York from executing on game-point twice, but the third time was the charm and the Lady Buckeyes took the 27-25 triumph.
Nelsonville-York led 5-3 in the third game, but the Silver and Black rattled off six straight points and led 9-5. The Lady Raider lead grew to as high as six, at 21-15, and the hosts survived a late rally to earn the 25-22 victory.
The fourth game featured six ties before the Lady Raiders claimed their first lead at 11-10. The next point went to the hosts, but the following eight went the other way, as Nelsonville-York took an 18-12 advantage.
River Valley trimmed the margin to two points, at 20-18, but the Lady Buckeyes claimed the next five markers and the 25-18 match-clinching win.
For the game, RVHS had a side-out percentage of 43.2, and a serve percentage of 89.7, while Nelsonville-York finished with a side-out percentage of 48.3.
River Valley was led by Kelsey Brown and Alexandria Wood with 10 points apiece, including an ace by Brown. Rachel Horner finished with nine service points, Lora Kinney added six points and an ace, while Mikenzi Pope had five points and two aces. Kasey Birchfield picked up four points and two aces, while Jaden Bradley chipped in with one service point.
Horner led the Silver and Black at the net with eight kills, followed by Pope with six. Birchfield and Hannah Jacks both finished with five kills and three blocks, Brown added three kills and two blocks, while Bradley had a kill and a block.
Cierra Roberts earned two kills in the setback, while Kinney and Breanna Dodrill each had one, with Kinney dishing out a team-best 13 assists. Dodrill and Pope led the RVHS defense with 13 digs apiece.
Mackenzie Hurd had 18 points to lead Nelsonville-York, while Madi Campbell finished with 14.
These teams are slated to rematch on Oct. 2 at NYHS.
The Lady Raiders host Belpre on Monday in non-league action.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.