PDT Sports Writer
JACKSON — One way or another, Eastern High School was going to move on to the Division IV Regional Tournament.
The question Saturday afternoon was whether it was going to be Beaver Eastern or Reedsville Eastern as the representative. The top-seeded Pike County Eagles, last year’s regional champion, found a way to advance with a 25-18, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20 win over the No. 3 Eagles from Meigs County.
“It was a good net game on both sides,” Beaver Eastern coach Janet Day said. “Good hitting, good blocking and it took us a while to adjust to their game. They sat tight so their hitters (were) on the ball really quick.”
The Brown and White were already without the services of Cassidy Roney, who was lost during Thursday’s district semifinal win over Clay with a lower body injury. Day knew her bench had to fill some roles.
Despite a strong pushback from the Green and White, Beaver Eastern looked up to the task with a lead as large as seven points before winning by that same margin. Reedsville Eastern shoved back in the second set but the Pike Eagles won by the minimum of two points to take the 2-0 lead.
The threat of a sweep was in play as both teams tied it 24-24. However, the Meigs Eagles claimed the next two to force a fourth set.
In the final set, senior Bailey Helton stepped up in front of the net and helped close out the match. She finished with 17 kills on the night.
“She had an awesome time at the net,” Day said. “Bailey has come a long way, she really kept her composure. She used to get frustrated when people would block her, not anymore, she wants the next ball.”
In the victory, Carson Roney had 12 kills, Casey Howard finished with six kills, Maddy Knipp had 21 diggs and Jenny Keppler had 31 assists. She also had four of her team’s nine aces on the night.
Also for the victors, Elysa Staten had five kills and Haley Stanley finished with eight digs. Stanley came off the bench to fill Cassidy Roney’s spot and Day was pleased with the way she filled into the void.
Beaver Eastern moves on to next week’s regional tournament where the winner of the Plain City Shekinah Christian and Worthington Christian will be the Eagles’ opponent.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.
Reedsville Eastern — 18 23 26 20
Eastern — 25 25 24 25
Records — Reedsville Eastern 21-4; Eastern 24-1.