The Valley Indians were able take control at each of the segments and came away with a four-game win Thursday night at Minford to start the second round of SOC II play.
"it was a big win for us," Indians coach Beth Coriell said. "We had to kinda change our lineup a little bit and I think that the girls that we put in ... that's what we're trying to work with these younger girls to step up in those spots and they did tonight."
The first game was shaping out in Valley's favor as it was 7-3 but the Falcons fought back and came away with a 25-21 win.
"I tell them they defeat themselves because they dig deep holes and they have to battle out of it," Minford coach Amanda Nickel said. "It just creates a lot more work for them."
The second game was a duplicate of the first after 10 points, but the Indians (6-6, 5-3) made sure not to give the Falcons (3-9, 1-7) an opportunity to make the charge. The match was tied 1-1 when Valley took the second 25-10.
"A couple of times we let down but at times I thought that we had a good hitting game," Coriell said.
Minford, who was without the services of Kylie Berry because of an injury, was placed into an even bigger hole in the third. The sophomore-laden Falcons trailed 8-2 and the Indians, who were without Lauren Wolford, had very little trouble took the third 25-17.
The fourth shaped to go into Minford's favor and it appeared the match would go the distance. But Valley, which allowed an 11-5 lead get away, rallied down the stretch down 23-19 and clinched the match 25-23.
""We struggle with making the big play at the right moment," Nickel said. "We just can't finish.
"We get up and we have good runs but we just lack the momentum to finish and I attribute that a lot to sophomore mistakes. They are working and they are getting better."
Jumping out to early leads was something Coriell mentioned as a point of weakness for her team to this point. The way they were able to control each game at the early stages was a breath of fresh air.
"When we get to the middle of the game, we just kinda let down," Coriell said. "We don't play to our potential and the teams kinda rally back.
"That's kinda what happened tonight and it's tough. That's what we're working on is trying to play the middle of the game and trying to finish."
Carrie Coriell led the Indians with 18 points and three aces while teammate Braiden Dillow, who was on serve for all three game-clinching points, had 14 points and three aces. Also scoring for Valley was Christina Shelton (14 kills), Emily Richard (10 points, two kills), McKenzie Coriell (10 points) and Libero Kirsten Setty (10 digs).
"Our serving, I thought, tonight was a key (to the) game and I thought the girls hit well at the net at times," Beth Coriell said.
At the front of the Falcon charge was Kelsey Conkey with 17 points and four kills while Jordyn Pennington joined with 13 points and eight kills. Also scoring for Minford was Olivia Thoroughman and Ashley Oesch, who each had 12 points.
"We're a team that when we communicate, we move better we hustle more and our attitudes change our game," Nickel said.
Both teams are on the road this weekend for tri matches. The Indians travel to Pike County to Eastern while the Falcons go to Ross County for a tri match at Chillicothe Huntington with West Union.
CODY LEIST can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 242 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valley — 21 25 25 25
Minford — 25 10 17 23