MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Both teams battled, but only one could win the war.
The Eastern volleyball team rallied back from an early 1-0 deficit and claimed a 24-26, 25-17, 25-20, 25-18 victory over host South Gallia in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest Monday night in Gallia County.
The Lady Eagles (5-4, 2-2 TVC Hocking) ultimately started slow, as the guests fell behind by as much as 13-6 in the opening moments of Game 1. EHS, however, rallied to force five ties the rest of the way — the last of which came at 24-all.
The Lady Rebels (3-5, 0-4) responded with consecutive points to claim the opening game by a 26-24 count, their only victory of the contest.
There were nine ties in Game 2, but Eastern broke away from a 14-all contest by scoring 11 of the final 14 points to knot the match up at a game apiece.
SGHS took leads of 3-0 and 10-5 in Game 3, but the guests battled back to tie the contest at 18-all. The Lady Eagles followed with seven of the final nine points to claim a 2-1 match advantage.
EHS never trailed in the finale, although the hosts battled through three ties early in Game 4. The Green and Gold were comfortably ahead 24-8, but Keirsten Howell reeled off nine consecutive service points before ultimately reaching the seven-point outcome.
“We had a little bit of a rough start, but we stayed persistent and kept finding our rhythm as the night progressed,” EHS coach Katie Williams said afterward. “Once we found our rhythm, we found our energy. The girls challenged themselves after the first game, and they responded. It’s a good road win.”
After another hard-fought evening, SGHS coach Tracey Burnette was again pleased with the effort — but she’d also like to see her group pick up a league win after giving so much effort.
“I’m proud of them again. They’ve worked hard all season and they give me everything they have a majority of the time,” Burnette said. “Eventually this hard work is going to pay off for the girls, and they know it. It’s just tough when you play good teams close and have nothing to show for it.”
Morgan Baer led the Eastern service attack with 14 points, followed by Brittney Leach with 12 points and Morgain Little with eight points. Elayna Bissell and Annalisa Boano were next with seven points apiece, while Kelsey Johnson and Holly Johnson each chipped in four points.
Boano led the EHS net attack with 15 kills, followed by Katlyn Barber with 10 kills and Makenzie Brooks with nine kills and a team-high four blocks. Baer dished out 34 assists, while Barber and Bissell respectively collected 17 and 13 digs.
Howell led the hosts with nine service points, followed by Jayla Wolford with seven points and Taylor Burnette with six points. Mariah Hineman and Kirstin Burnette were next with five points apiece, while Courtney Haner, Caitlyn VanScoy and Erin Evans respectively chipped in three points, two points and one point.
Wolford led the SGHS net attack with seven kills and a block, while Hineman added five kills and Haner had three kills. Hineman also had a team-high seven digs, while Wolford and VanScoy each came up with four digs apiece.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.