Clay def. Symmes Valley, 3-2 (25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 13-25, 16-14)
Behind gargantuan efforts from Jensen Warnock and Shaelyn Vassar, the Clay Panthers’ volleyball program collected a critical victory to remain in firm control of second place in the SOC I standings as the Lady Panthers edged Symmes Valley in a five-set thriller (25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 13-25, 16-14) on Thursday evening in Rosemount.
The junior duo, who were simply all over the court against the Lady Vikings, were nothing short of outstanding in multiple areas. Warnock collected team-highs of 31 kills and five aces while adding 28 service receptions, 18 digs, and 12 points from serve, while Vassar led the team in digs (30), service receptions (29), and points from serve (14) while also collecting three aces to complete a fantastic effort from the backline.
In addition to the duo, the games that Delanie Gilliland, Lila Brown, and Taylor Lewis weren’t too shabby, to say the least. Brown collected a season-best 54 assists to go along with two aces, while Gilliland added 16 digs, 15 kills, 14 service receptions, and 11 points from serve to go along with two aces of her own. Lewis obtained a dozen kills and two assists to round out a splendid result for the Lady Panthers.
Clay, who is 7-2 on the year and 5-1 in SOC II play, will play in the Alexander Invitational on Saturday. The Lady Panthers will return to SOC II action when Clay travels to Beaver to face off against Eastern on Tuesday evening.
Notre Dame def. East, 3-0 (25-13, 25-2, 25-3)
For the seventh straight match, the Notre Dame Titans’ volleyball program used its outstanding efforts on all fronts to collect a victory as the Lady Titans moved to 18-0 overall in set play against SOC I schools with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-2, 25-3) victory over East on Thursday evening in Sciotoville.
Notre Dame was led by Lexi Smith, who put together another dominating performance to remember for the Notre Dame faithful by collecting an astonishing 22 kills in 29 attack attempts for a .655 attack percentage and added four aces in just eight service attempts. Smith had just three attack errors by comparison, along with no service errors, en route to a fantastic performance.
In addition to Smith’s performance, Cassie Schaefer added 24 assists to head the offensive attack and collected eight aces in 31 service attempts — all while not committing an error over the entire match. Ali Smith added five aces in 16 service attempts and committed just one error in her own right. Alex Glockner joined Schaefer and Smith in not committing a service error while Katie Dettwiller collected four kills in five attempts and did not commit an attack error to round out the Notre Dame efforts.
The Lady Titans will play at Circleville on Saturday before returning to SOC I play against New Boston on Tuesday evening at home.
Northwest 1, North Adams 0
When an excellent coach and dedicated players team up, a formidable program is usually the result of said combination.
On Wednesday evening, the Northwest Mohawks’ boys soccer program continued to prove why it is one of the most slept on teams in all of Division III as Northwest fought through rainy conditions and an abnormal pace to obtain a 1-0 victory over a tough and gritty North Adams program thanks to a splendid defensive effort and a 63rd minute goal from Evan Throckmorton off of a throw-in from Austin Speer.
“We obtained a hard-fought win in some nasty conditions (Wednesday evening) from our guys,” Northwest head coach Josh Keeney said. “Both teams fought hard for 80 minutes of rain-drenched soccer. We pounded the goal all night and controlled the match, but just couldn’t get one to drop our way.”
That was, indeed, the case, until the 63rd minute, when Northwest — who limited North Adams to four shots total behind its outstanding defensive play while collecting 28 shots overall during the contest — obtained an opportunity on an advance. The resulting throw-in by Speer found Throckmorton, and the talented junior midfielder pulled from 20 yards out to allow the Mohawks to take a 1-0 lead as the game approached its final moments. The Green Devils never seriously threatened again as Northwest moved to an outstanding 7-0 overall.
“I told the kids as soon as they got in their formation that they were playing all defensive and it was going to be tough to score, but we fought through and ended up finally getting one in the back of the net,” Keeney said. “When our offense struggled to score (on Wednesday), our defense really stepped up and kept them from getting hardly any chances. The contest was a good test for our kids and was a tight game all the way through that will definitely help us down the road. Proud of my guys!”
Northwest hosted Chesapeake Thursday evening and will face another Adams County program when the Mohawks make the trip to West Union on Monday for a 5 p.m. contest.
Waverly 5, Minford 3
Over the years, it is a known fact that the girls soccer programs under the Minford Falcons’ and Waverly Tigers’ umbrella will compete for SOC II titles on a yearly basis, no matter who seems to be playing inside the program.
On Thursday evening, the pair combined to put together yet another splendid showing, with Waverly edging Minford, 5-3, in a fantastic SOC II bout that was held in Waverly.
Over the first 20 minutes of the contest, both programs held each other to a scoreless tie before the seesaw battle began. After getting an opportunity to strike off of an advance, Minford’s Marissa Risner was able to find Brittani Wolfenbarker on a corner kick to collect a 1-0 lead for Minford. That lead, however, proved to be short-lived, as Loren Moran’s shot in the 23rd minute immediately tied the score again at 1-1 heading into the halftime break.
In the second half of play, Minford was, again, able to collect the opening salvo as Kiersten Lambert found Emily Shoemaker for a blast in the 52nd minute with the Lady Falcons collecting a 2-1 advantage. However, Waverly, once more, rallied as the Lady Tigers obtained another pair of goals by Zoiee Smith and an additional blast from Hailey Hauck between the 54th and the 63rd minute to take control of the affair. The Lady Falcons obtained another blast from Wolfenbarker in the 69th — this time, of the unassisted variety — to cut the lead to a 4-3 margin, but Bella Newsome put the contest away for Waverly by obtaining an unassisted tally of her own to sew the contest up.
“It was a very good battle (on Thursday evening),” Minford head coach Shane Tieman said of the contest. “Murph (Waverly head coach Chris Murphy) has really started developing a possession game and his team is running it well. They had good production from a number of players. We did well, just came up short. We had a ton of opportunities on fast breaks called back for offsides which can be frustrating. Overall, I was pleased with our effort. This is a difficult pill to swallow though, as it means we will need help to have a chance to win the conference.”
“(Assistant coach) Danielle Morgan and I would like to congratulate Minford on their relentless effort,” Murphy said. “Every time that I thought we had an opportunity to close out the match, they would continue to apply intense pressure. We are very proud of our ladies tonight and their ability to pull out the victory despite being behind early on in both halves. This match allowed us to begin developing a bit more maturity and resilience that will be needed on down the road.”
For the contest, Smith led the way with three goals and an assist for Waverly, while Wolfenbarker collected two goals to head the Minford charge.
The Lady Tigers (5-2, 2-1 SOC II) will travel to West Portsmouth to play the Lady Senators on Monday in an SOC II bout, while Minford (5-3, 2-2 SOC II) will host Chesapeake in a nonconference affair.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7
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