ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — It’s not how you start something, but rather how you finish it.
The Eastern volleyball team shook off a rough start by practically leading the rest of the match Thursday night following an 18-25, 25-12, 25-16, 25-23 victory over host Meigs in a non-conference matchup at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.
The visiting Lady Eagles (2-0) jumped out to an early 2-0 edge in Game 1, but the Lady Marauders (0-2) responded with a 20-10 run to secure their biggest lead of the night at 20-12. MHS went on to win five of the next 11 points en route to an early 1-0 match lead.
EHS, however, never trailed in Game 2 en route to a 13-point victory, then trailed only 1-0 in Game 3 before rolling to a nine-point win and a 2-1 match advantage.
The Lady Eagles led 3-0 in the fourth game, but Meigs rallied to secure small leads of 5-4 and 6-5 before the guests made a 10-3 run for their largest lead of the game at 15-9.
The Lady Marauders twice pulled to within a point at 19-18 and 22-21 before tying things up at 23-all, but the guests answered with consecutive points to wrap up the 3-1 match triumph.
Afterwards, EHS coach Katie Williams showed some signs of frustration with the events of Game 1 — but she was also pleased with how troops responded the rest of the night.
“We definitely came out flat, but we made some adjustments and challenged the kids,” Williams said. “We started focusing on fundamentals after the first game and things started going our way. It wasn’t perfect, but a win is a win. We’ll take it and keep moving on.”
MHS coach Lori Carter, conversely, wasn’t thrilled about the final outcome for her team — but that was also about the only negative she could come with following the game.
“We needed to show some effort like we did tonight,” Carter said. “I think the girls gained a lot of confidence from that first game, and that came from playing with some effort and emotion. We didn’t win the match, but I think we showed tremendous improvement from our last match. That’s a win in my book.”
Morgain Little led the EHS service attack with 15 points and eight assists, followed by Mackenzie Brooks and Kelsey Casto with 10 points apiece.
Morgan Baer and Allison Barber were next with five points apiece, while Katlyn Barber and Abby Litchfield rounded things out with three points each.
Kat Barber led the net attack with 10 kills, followed by Brooks with seven kills and Little with five kills. Baer dished out a team-high 38 assists, while Elayna Bissell paced the defense with nine digs. Kat Barber and Abbie Hawley also had seven digs apiece in the triumph.
Kassidy Betzing led the MHS service attack with 13 points, followed by Aaliyah Pullins, McKenzie Ohlinger and Paige Denney with six points apiece.
Devyn Oliver and Morgan Lodwick were next with five points each, while Jordan Roush and Maddie Hendricks also had a point apiece for the hosts.
Betzing led the net attack with 10 kills, followed by Ohlinger with five kills and Pullins with four kills. Denney also had a team-best three blocks and Oliver added 14 assists. Roush and Betzing also had four and three digs, respectively, in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.