RACINE, Ohio — It’s always important to head into league play with momentum.
The Southern volleyball made the most of its final non-conference match before beginning the 2016 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division slate, as the Lady Tornadoes swept River Valley — which also starts league play next — by a 3-0 count, on Monday night in Meigs County.
The Lady Tornadoes (2-0) never trailed in the opening game of the night, rolling to a 25-12 win, capped off by five straight service points by SHS junior libero Jane Roush.
In the second game, Southern had three separate runs of at least 5-0 each, as the Purple and Gold cruised to a 25-13 victory.
In the third game, the Lady Tornadoes jumped out to a 9-1 lead, highlighted by six straight service points by Sierra Cleland. River Valley (1-3) battled back to within four points at 11-7, but couldn’t get any closer, as Southern capped off the 3-0 sweep with a 25-14 victory.
Southern — which hasn’t played since last Tuesday, when the Lady Tornadoes swept Meigs — is now 2-0 under first-year head coach Kim Hupp.
“We had a good week off and we worked very, very hard in practice,” Hupp said. “Today, I think the girls had fun, and they executed very well. We bumped-set-spiked, that was our goal and I thought they executed that very well.”
RVHS is now just 1-3 on the season, all against TVC Hocking opponents. First-year RVHS head coach Megan Elliott noted her team needs an attitude adjustment if it wants to bounce back.
“They’re attitudes just weren’t there,” Elliott said of her team. “They didn’t come out wanting to win and it just kills them. It is completely detrimental to their entire game and they started out like that. They had a couple points where they brought themselves up and were able to come back a little bit, but it wasn’t enough to bring it through.”
Southern’s service attack was led by Cleland and Amanda Cole with 10 points apiece, including two aces and one ace respectively. Roush had nine points and a game-best three aces, Kamryn Smith added eight points and one ace, while Sara Schenkelberg and Marlee Maynard both finished with four points, including one ace by Schenkelberg. Katie Barton rounded out the SHS service attack with one point in the win.
“We were working together as a team,” Hupp said. “It takes all of them, they all got into night and they all did their jobs. The girls coming off the bench did their jobs. I thought our hitters hit very well, hit around the block and got it down.”
At the net, Cole led the Lady Tornadoes with 11 kills and two blocks, followed by Kamryn Smith with eight kills. Marissa Johnson posted seven kills, Faith Teaford added five, while Cleland and Maynard each added four kills and one block, with Maynard recording a majority of the team’s assists. Macie Michael rounded out the SHS net attack with two kills in the victory.
Emily Adkins led RVHS with four service points, followed by Carly Gilmore with three. Isabella Mershon finished with two points and one ace for the Lady Raiders, while Angel Toler, Jaden Neal and Rayanna Adkins each marked one service point.
“In practice they do very well and they know what they’re doing,” Elliott said. “We practice covering and I feel like, for the most part, they come in and apply that really well. Their communication was lacking, but they were covering decent on the hits and blocks. Skill-wise it wasn’t too bad, but as for their attitudes and working together as a team, they didn’t quite come together for it.”
River Valley’s net attack was led by Gilmore and Brianna McGuire with three kills and four blocks apiece. Rachel Horner marked three kills and three blocks, Toler added two kills and one block, while Emily Adkins finished with two kills. Mershon led RVHS with six assists, followed by Toler with two. Toler marked a team-high 12 digs, followed by Gilmore and Cierra Roberts with 10 each.
Southern will return to action on Thursday, when it hosts Trimble, which is one of two teams SHS shared the 2015 TVC Hocking championship with.
“We will just prepare for it the same way we did this game,” Hupp said of Thursday’s scheduled clash with Trimble.
After starting TVC Ohio play at Wellston on Tuesday, River Valley will return home for a league-clash with Nelsonville-York, on Thursday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.