KINNIKINNICK, Ohio — It was quick, but not entirely painless.
The Eastern volleyball team reached double digits only once as host Zane Trace rolled to a 25-4, 25-15, 25-6 victory in a Division III sectional championship match in Ross County.
The sixth seeded Lady Eagles (12-11) led in each of the first two games, but the third seeded Lady Pioneers (14-9) were simply too much for the guests to overcome.
The Green and White built an early 2-1 lead in Game 1, but ZTHS countered with 24 of the next 26 points — including the final six — en route to a 21-point win and a 1-0 match lead.
Game 2 proved to be the most contested as both squads battled through four ties and as many lead changes out to a 7-6 Red and Blue advantage. Zane Trace, however, scored the next seven points and led by at least three the rest of the way before wrapping up a 10-point win for a 2-0 match cushion.
The Lady Pioneers never trailed in Game 3 after building early leads of 4-0 and 15-3. The hosts broke serve for a 22-6 edge and reeled off the final three points to wrap up the straight-game outcome.
Eastern — after reaching the Division IV district final round a year ago — didn’t have much luck in its D-3 debut, mustering as many kills (nine) as it did blocks. The guests also recorded only one ace and made 13 digs total as a team.
Zane Trace, on the other hand, advances to the district semifinal round Tuesday at Waverly High School as it faces second seeded Fairland in the second of two matches that night.
Haley Burton led the EHS service attack with four points, followed by Jenna Chadwell and Brielle Newland with respective efforts of three and two points. Kylee Gheen also had one point in recording the team’s lone service ace.
Olivia Barber led the net attack with four kills and Gheen followed with two kills. Chadwell, Alisa Ord and Layna Catlett also had a kill apiece in the setback.
Gheen posted a team-high four blocks, with Catlett and Megan Maxon each contributing two blocks. Burton led EHS with six assists and Sydney Sanders paced the guests with seven digs.
Alli Bennett led ZTHS with 21 service points, followed by Lexi Betts with 12 points and Liz Harber with 10 points.
It is the second time in four years that Eastern has not advanced to the district tournament round.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.