At the beginning of the season, Wheelersburg coach Paul Boll wasn't sure if his young team would be able to vie for the conference title. Graduating 12 seniors, nine starters, from last year's SOC II championship team, it seemed like a rebuilding year.
Well, the Pirates got some hardware on Thursday.
Ethan Fight and Aaron White scored in the second half against South Webster, Fight scoring on a throw-in, as Wheelersburg defeated the Jeeps 2-0 to clinch its second straight conference title. It is the fifth championship the Pirates have won this decade.
“We really grew up fast,” Boll said. “With our first five games being tough, I thought we were going to be 2-3, but we went 4-0-1. They learned so quickly.”
Fight scored, “off his face,” Boll said, 10 minutes into the second half. White followed up the clinching goal with 12 minutes left. Wes Lyon assisted on both goals.
“Wes is a leader,” Boll said. “He leads by his behavior. He's like another coach on the field. He never loses his cool.”
The Jeeps, also a young squad, matched the Pirates in shots, but couldn't get one past goalkeeper Robert Robinson.
“We came out hard and I kind of thought we had the upperhand,” South Webster coach Corey Claxon said. “When they scored that first goal, we lost our momentum. We never did get it back until late in the game.”
Boll gave credit to his defense for shutting down a prolific Jeeps attack.
“Devin Boggs, Corey Billiter, Chris Allen and Alex Provaznik all did an outstanding job keeping Webster out of the net,” Boll said.
The Pirates finish with an SOC record of 11-1. They have three more non-conference games.
For the Jeeps, the team faces New Boston on Thursday at home for the SOC I championship.
“We have to take care of our business against New Boston,” Claxon said.
South Webster 0 0 - 0
Wheelersburg 0 2 - 2
Second Half - 1. Ethan Fight (Lyon) Wheelersburg 35:37, 2. Wheelersburg Aaron White (Lyon) 11:49.
Shots - Wheelersburg 14. South Webster 14.
Saves - Wheelersburg, Robert Robinson 12. South Webster; Jeremy Collins 11.
Record - Wheelersburg 11-1-1 (11-1 SOC) South Webster 8-4-1 (6-3-1)
Clay 9, West 2
Zach Parker scored five times and Sung Park added a goal and two assists as the Panthers beat West at home on Thursday. Kenny Gable, Tyler Robinson and Alex Jordan each added a goal as well.
Larry Moore had one of the goals for the Senators.
West 0 2 - 2
Clay 5 4 - 9
First Half - 1. Clay; Sung Park (Parker) 38:28, 2. Parker (Redden) 36:00, 3. Gable (Park) 23:45, 4. Parker 2 ((Park) 19:00, 5. Jordan (Lewis) 3:57.
Second Half - 1. Parker 3 (una.) 38:40, 2. Parker 4 (una.) 34:03, 3. Robinson (Parker) 27:30, 4. Parker 5 (una.) 22:01. 5. West: Moore (una.) 18:20.
Record - Clay 7-6-2.
Valley def. Wheelersburg 27-25, 25-13, 22-25, 25-20
Jordan Arbaugh had 14 kills, eight digs and two blocks and Brittany Coleman added 16 digs and a kill as Valley beat Wheelersburg in four sets on Thursday. Valley moves to 9-3 in the conference.
Cassie Holcomb and Courtnie Merritt had big games, Holcomb assisting on 34 points and Merritt getting 16 kills five blocks and nine digs.
“The girls played solid volleyball tonight. Our front line played the net well tonight. We had some solid hits, and the back line read the hitters well and got their digs. Wheelersburg came back in the third game, and had lot of momentum,” Valley coach Teresa Alvelo said. “Our girls were able to regroup, and this was a big hurdle for the girls to overcome tonight. The girls give all the glory to God and they were able to pull it out. They played with a lot of heart.”
Brittany Hoover had 11 digs, two kills and a block, Megan Spriggs had five kills and Tiffany Lockwood had eight digs
Record - Valley 12-4 (9-3).
Eastern Pike def. Clay 25-21, 25-27, 25-17, 18-25, 15-12
Mary Polen led the Lady Eagles with 19 kills, Courtney Rowe had 47 assists and four aces as Eastern Pike put some distance between itself and Clay on Thursday.
Eastern Pike is one game up in the loss column in the SOC I. Rachel Staker had 10 kills and Ashley Howell added eight kills and 12 digs. Chelsi Scaggs had six kills and 12 digs and Emily Osborne and Samantha Veach had 10 digs apiece.
Record - Eastern Pike 14-4 (11-1 SOC)
New Boston def. Notre Dame 25-23, 25-15, 25-14
Tabi Euton had 23 serves, Ginger Horsley had 15 assists and Kelsey Toft added seven blocks as New Boston beat Notre Dame. Kayla Wiley and Katie Williams combined for 21 kills.
“The girls played well together tonight. They have a lot of chemistry and momentum right now,” New Boston coach Stephanie Craft said.
For Notre Dame, Liz Stevens had six aces and four kills and Chrissy Glockner contributed four kills and five assists.
The girls were perfect serving, and I was proud of that,” Notre Dame coach Nancy Russell said.
Record - Notre Dame 6-11, New Boston 14-4 (8-4).
Waverly def. West 25-21, 25-21, 25-13
McKenzie Gullion had 18 kills, nine points and 15 digs and Rachel Lacy added 34 assists, 11 points and 10 digs in a Lady Tigers' win. Jordan Clark had 11 kills and four points
“We came out kind of flat in the first two games, but really turned it on in the third game,” Waverly coach Courtney Gillot said. “I give West a lot of credit. They dug up a lot of our shots tonight. It is always a good win to have. You can't underestimate opponents.”
Record - Waverly 8-9 (7-5).
South Webster def. Minford 25-21, 25-17, 19-25, 25-14
Molly Roark had six kills, eight digs, three aces and 13 points and Kayla Maynard had seven kills, nine digs and four aces as the Lady Jeeps went to 14-1 on the season. Erin Sherman had 19 kills, 12 digs and three blocks, Erin Moore contributed six kills, 10 digs and two blocks and Aarika Hollback added 23 assists. Brianna Rawlins had three kills, two blocks and two digs and Kasey Roth had eight digs.
“The girls came out ready to play in games one and two, and Minford came back in the third,” South Webster coach Darcee Claxon said. “I was proud the girls came back after that third game and played strong.”
Record - South Webster 14-1 (10-1).
Northwest def. Oak Hill 25-16, 25-11, 25-14
Matraca Montavon had 17 points and two kills and Ashley Shaffer added 15 points and eight kills. Devan Scarberry had 81 sets, 33 assists and six points and Sydney Moos added 13 kills and 11 blocks. Ashley Brown had seven kills and Brittany Ellis had nine digs. Miranda Knittel had five digs.
Record - Northwest 9-6 (6-5 SOC).
Becca Day had 11 kills, 20 digs an assist and a block, but SSU fell to Mount Vernon Nazarene 30-23, 30-24, 30-21 on Thursday.
Samantha Emler recorded 10 kills for Shawnee State, and Adair Piguet added 18 digs. Haley Halcomb had 29 assists and 20 digs for the Bears, who fall to 10-11 on the season, 0-6 in the AMC. Mount Vernon's record improves to 18-1 (5-0).
Shawnee State travel to Ohio Dominican on Tuesday, with a game time of 7 p.m.