IRONTON, Ohio — Nobody in particular had a birthday, but the Lady Defenders still threw a Sweet 16 party.
The Ohio Valley Christian volleyball team improved to 16-0 on the season Tuesday night following a 25-18, 25-11, 16-25, 25-22 victory over host Ironton Saint Joseph in a non-conference match in Lawrence County.
The visiting Lady Defenders (16-0) rolled to a pair of convincing wins in the opening two games, but the Lady Flyers showed a little toughness in Game 3 after rallying from a 13-6 deficit with 11 consecutive points — giving the Purple and Gold a 17-13 edge.
OVCS never came closer than four points the rest of the way as ISJHS reeled off eight of the final 11 points to close its match deficit down to 2-1.
The hosts stormed out to early leads of 5-0 and 16-12 in Game 4, but the Blue and Gold countered with an 8-2 run to secure a 20-18 advantage. Both teams traded points the rest of the way, allowing the guests to win the 3-1 match decision with a three-point victory.
Cori Hutchison led the OVCS service attack with 17 points, followed by Katie Westfall with 16 points. Emily Childers and Marcie Kessinger were next with seven points apiece, while Katie Bradley and Rachel Sargent respectively added four and three points.
Alyson Johnson led ISJHS with 15 service points and Kelsey Malone had 11 points. Alex Holtzapfel and Paige Preston also chipped in four points apiece in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.