CENTENARY, Ohio — As rare as a Blue Moon for the Blue Angels.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team had its regular season home winning streak halted at 13 matches on Monday night following a 23-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-17 setback to visiting Alexander in a non-conference contest in Gallia County.
The host Blue Angels (1-1) had gone just over 23 months without suffering a single setback in the friendly confines of home, dating back to a two-games-to-none loss to Logan Elm during a tri-match held on Sept. 23, 2017.
In fact, the last time that the Blue and White suffered a best-of-five match loss at home in the regular season went all the way back to Sept. 25, 2014 after dropping a 3-0 decision to visiting Nelsonville-York.
It was a tough way to start the 2019 campaign at home, but early on … GAHS appeared ready to keep that vaunted streak alive.
Outside of a quick 1-0 lead in Game 1, the Blue Angels practically trailed the entire opener — four times by as much as five points — before rallying back from a 21-16 deficit to knot things up at 23-all. The hosts then scored the next two points while securing a 1-0 match lead.
Gallia Academy took a little bit of that momentum into Game 2 after building a quick 2-0 lead, but the Lady Spartans (2-0) countered with eight of the next nine points while establishing an 8-3 advantage.
The Red and Black followed by extending their lead out to as much as 10 points on four different occasions before ultimately claiming a nine-point win that evened the match at a game apiece.
Game 3 proved to be the pivotal junction in the contest as there were 12 ties and nine lead changes, with the last tie coming at 18-all.
AHS managed to build a slim 20-19 edge before reeling off five consecutive points that resulted in a six-point win and a 2-1 match cushion.
The Blue Angels held brief leads of 5-4 and 6-5 in Game 4, but the guests countered with three consecutive points and ultimately led the rest of the way.
Alexander extended its lead out to 17-11 before the hosts rallied back to within a point at 17-16, but the Lady Spartans answered with eight of the final nine points to wrap up the eight-point decision and the 3-1 match outcome.
MaKenna Caldwell led the GAHS service attack with 10 points, followed by Maddie Wright with nine points and Peri Martin with eight points. Alex Barnes was next with three points, while Maddy Petro and Bailey Barnette wrapped things up with two points and one point, respectively.
Barnes led the net attack with 14 kills, with Wright and Petro both following with six kills each. Barnette and Martin were next with three kills apiece, while Abby Hammons added two kills. Caldwell and Jenna Harrison also had a kill each in the setback.
Wright, Petro and Martin all had three blocks apiece, with Barnes also adding a block. Martin also led the hosts with 23 assists.
Jenna Houpt paced AHS with 14 service points, followed by Malory Rankin with 11 points and Brooke Casto with eight points. Karsyn Raines was next with six points, with Halie Miller and Jadyn Mace each contributing five points.
Morgan Vickers and Jarika Hart completed the service scoring with three and two points, respectively.
Gallia Academy returned to action Tuesday when it hosted Portsmouth in Ohio Valley Conference play, then travels to Ironton on Thursday for an OVC match at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.