South Webster 3, Clay 0
Throughout his coaching tenure at South Webster High School, Corey Claxon has helped develop the Jeeps as a regular contender deep into OHSAA Division III postseason play.
On Thursday evening, Claxon’s unit accomplished yet another milestone in a home bout against Clay as South Webster took home its 15th consecutive SOC I Championship with a 3-0 victory over the Clay Panthers in a SOC I affair that was played at South Webster.
Throughout the first half of play, Clay made life difficult for the South Webster offensive attack as smart gameplanning and excellent execution by the Panthers, who dropped extra men back in an effort to neutralize the Jeeps’ offensive firepower, kept the lid shut on the goal through the first 28 minutes of the opening half. Despite that, Shiloah Blevins and Sam Holstein, as they have done all season long, came up large as Blevins found Holstein for a goal in the 29th minute to put South Webster up by a 1-0 count at halftime.
“It was pretty clear that Clay was keeping guys back to keep us from scoring, and that was a good strategy,” Claxon said. “It took us a little while, but eventually Sam was able to get one in off of a pass from Shiloah and that put an end to that game plan. The funny thing is, I believe that they played better after they moved guys back into normal spots. Our defense did a nice job of stopping several of their counter attacks. Jacob Ruth is especially good at covering for us in the back. Once he gets the ball he rarely loses it.”
With a 1-0 lead in hand, South Webster wasted little time adding to its lead. In the 55th minute, Holstein added a second goal off of a Braden Martin pass, and five minutes later, Blevins added his own tally — an unassisted blast — in the 60th to finalize the scoring.
“In the second half, we were able to connect better with our passes and we added two more goals because of that,” Claxon said. “Sam’s second goal was a good example of us passing the ball much better and finding openings for better shots. Shiloah broke through on a dribble and had a low hard hit that had enough momentum to go in after the keeper got his hands on it. He got all of that one and the keeper didn’t have much of a chance.”
With the win, South Webster moved to 8-0-4 overall and 5-0 in SOC I play. The Jeeps will continue to test itself on Saturday, when South Webster makes the trip to face Division I Logan at 1:30 p.m. in a gauntlet of a schedule that has already included Jackson, Athens, Zane Trace, and Albany Alexander in 2017.
Clay def. Western, 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-19)
Behind another dominating effort that included a massive performance from Jensen Warnock, the Clay Panthers’ volleyball program was able to collect its 17th win of the year in a 3-0 win over Western (25-13, 25-11, 25-19) on Thursday evening in Rosemount.
Warnock, who has proven to be a go-to force for Clay all season long, collected an astonishing 30 kills, 13 digs, 12 points from serve, and 10 service receptions to lead the Lady Panthers. The junior also collected four aces to round out an outstanding performance from all areas.
In addition to Warnock, Shaelyn Vassar and Shaley Munion proved to be strong presences on the backline as Vassar collected 22 digs, 10 service receptions, eight points from serve, and two aces, while Munion added 15 points from serve, 12 digs, and three aces to solidify the backline play.
Lila Brown’s 44 assists, Delanie Gilliland’s eight kills and eight points from serve, and Taylor Lewis’ 11 kills and six service receptions led Clay, who moved to 17-3 overall and 10-2 in SOC I action with the victory. The Lady Panthers will take on Symmes Valley in Willow Wood on Tuesday evening.
Notre Dame def. Eastern (25-17, 25-9, 25-17)
Behind another strong performance from its frontline, the Notre Dame Titans’ volleyball program continued to shine as Notre Dame defeated Eastern in straight sets, 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-17) en route to officially taking home another SOC I Championship.
Lexi Smith and Katie Dettwiller proved to be strong for the Titans throughout the evening as Smith collected 21 kills on a stellar .581 attack percentage and added nine digs, while Dettwiller obtained nine kills on a .500 attack percentage. Both players combined for two solo blocks and five assisted blocks on the evening. Cassie Schaefer added 32 assists, 11 points from serve, nine digs, and two aces to help spearhead the offense.
Taylor Schmidt’s three aces and perfect serving percentage, Clara Hash’s 10 digs, and perfect serving marks from Ali Smith and Ava Hassel — with the former also adding eight digs — allowed Notre Dame to move to 14-5 overall and 12-0 in the SOC I. The Titans will host East on Tuesday evening.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7