BIDWELL, Ohio — The rich just get richer.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team picked up its seventh straight victory on Saturday — remaining unbeaten on the season — defeating non-conference host River Valley by a 3-0 count, making for the Lady Raiders fourth consecutive loss.
GAHS (7-0) trailed the Lady Raiders (1-6) 6-to-3 in the opening game, but scored nine straight points to take the lead. The Blue Angels led the rest of the way, cruising to the 25-12 victory.
After 20 points and a pair of lead changes in the second game, the teams were tied at 10. The Blue Angels quickly grabbed a two-point lead at 12-10, but RVHS regained the advantage at 14-13. The Lady Raider lead was short-lived, however, as Gallia Academy went on a 12-2 run to win the second game 25-16.
River Valley scored the first point of the third game, but GAHS took a 2-1 lead and never trailed again. Gallia Academy won the third game by a 25-13 count, finishing off the 3-0 sweep.
“The girls were really excited to play today,” GAHS head coach Janice Rosier said. “It’s an in-county rivalry and River Valley always gives us a good game.
“We had to comeback a couple of times and they showed us that they can do it,” Rosier added about her team. “I let them dig themselves out instead of calling a timeout, which I was just about to do. I didn’t and they dug themselves out, which was wonderful and something I hope they can do in the postseason.”
GAHS has now won 14 consecutive games, losing just one all season.
The Lady Raiders have dropped 12 straight games, but first-year head coach Megan Elliott was optimistic of her team’s effort.
“I’m very proud of how they played today,” RVHS head coach Megan Elliott said of her team. “Although it didn’t reflect a win in any way, shape or form, I feel like that’s probably the best that they’ve played all season. It’s a good preview for us that to show that we can play with about anybody if they want to.
“The things they’ve been having problems with they did pretty well,” Elliott added. “Serve receive was a lot better, their communication with each other was a lot better, and their coverage wasn’t bad. (Gallia Academy) still got us on quite a few tips, but overall I think our coverage was better than usual.”
The Blue Angel service attack was led by Carly Shriver and Jenna Meadows with nine points apiece, including three and five aces respectively. Hunter Copley marked eight points and four aces, Alex Barnes added seven points, while Brooke Pasquale finished with five points and one ace. Ryleigh Caldwell finished with three points, while Ashton Webb had two points and one ace to round out the category for GAHS.
Jaden Neal led River Valley’s service attack with six points and two aces, while Angel Toler and Rachel Horner each had three service points. The Lady Raiders also got one service point apiece from Isabella Mershon and Emily Adkins.
Grace Martin led GAHS at the net with 10 kills and two blocks, while Webb posted 10 kills. Barnes had six kills and one block, Shriver added three kills and a match-best 25 assists, while Copley had two kills. Caldwell and Meadows each finished with one kill to round out the GAHS net attack.
Grace Martin’s 17 digs led the Blue Angel defense, while Pasquale followed with 13.
Carly Gilmore led the RVHS net attack with five kills and three blocks. Brianna McGuire added one kill and three blocks, while Toler had one kill and three assists. River Valley’s defense was led by Gilmore with 15 digs and Horner with 11.
River Valley returns to action on Tuesday at Vinton County, but will likely be without Horner, who suffered an injury in the third game of Saturday’s match.
“As far as Rachel being out, the injury did look pretty severe, so this week she’ll probably be out,” said Elliott. “We should be gaining Jessica Steele back soon, and I brought a couple players up from jay-vee that I feel can step up if they need to. I’m pretty confident that — even though we will miss Rachel, because she’s a great player — we’ll be able to compensate for it and still do okay.”
GAHS will also be back in action on Tuesday, when Coal Grove visits Centenary. The Blue Angels will try to move to 4-0 within the Ohio Valley Conference by doing more of what they have been doing.
“Our serves were off tonight, but our hits actually started coming on,” Rosier said. “We had a sophomore come in and fill in for an injured player, and she did a great job. We always say that we’re 11 strong and they did a great job. We have two big games next week in Coal Grove and Portsmouth. Both are OVC games and big matches for us.”
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.