Wheelersburg def. North Adams, 2-1 (25-16, 17-25, 25-16)
In its first match as part of the North Adams Tri-Match on Saturday morning, the Wheelersburg Pirates were able to outlast the North Adams Green Devils, 2-1, in a well-played three set affair in Seaman.
As has been the case throughout most of the season, Alli McQuay proved to be critical for the Lady Pirates as the sophomore obtained team-highs in kills (14), service points (12), and aces (three) en route to obtaining the victory for Wheelersburg, while senior backline players Ellie Ruby and Mia Darnell combined for 22 digs in the win. McQuay also added seven digs and a block to show off her effectiveness in all areas.
Mallory Bergan’s team-high nine digs — to go along with seven kills and an assist — and Abbie Kallner’s 25 assists also proved to be strong outputs for the Lady Pirates.
Wheelersburg def. Portsmouth, 2-1 (23-25, 25-19, 26-24)
In its second contest of the morning, the Lady Pirates duked it out with the Portsmouth Trojans’ volleyball program in a strong three-set affair, with Wheelersburg ultimately taking home a 2-1 match victory despite a strong contest from the Lady Trojans in a thrilling nonconference affair.
During the match, Bergan, who obtained team-highs of 15 digs and 13 kills in the match, and Ruby, who added a team-best 31 digs, were helped out by splendid efforts from Lauren Jolly, Adyson Rase, and Sydney Spence. Rase collected six kills, Spence added five kills and a block in just one set of action, and Jolly obtained a dozen digs in her only match of the day.
“This was a great experience for our players,” Wheelersburg head coach Allen Perry said. “We faced two very good teams today, and collected two big wins. It was a total team effort throughout the day, as we had many players step up in big rolls when we needed them. Adyson did a fantastic job moving to the middle for a couple of sets en route to finishing the day with seven kills. Sydney, who has had limited varsity playing time, came up big at the outside with five kills and a block in only one set of play, and Lauren Jolly, who only played one match as a DS, finished the day with 12 digs. The girls really did a fantastic job playing their roles and working together no matter what rotation we had to go with.”
With the victories, Wheelersburg improved to 18-1 overall ahead of a big week that will include SOC II rivals West and Valley, along with Notre Dame, in its final trio of affairs. The Pirates will play West on Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. in what will be Senior Night for West.
Minford 3, Miami Trace 1
Behind seven saves from Marissa Watters and another excellent performance from Shane Tieman’s ballclub, the Minford Falcons were able to defeat a strong Miami Trace program, 3-1, behind a goal apiece from Aurie Coriell, Erin Daniels, and Marissa Risner en route to moving to 11-4 on the year with the nonconference victory, which was played in Washington Court House.
Once again, Risner, who has proven to be a spark plug in more than one area for the Lady Falcons, got the ball rolling by launching a corner kick toward Aurie Coriell, who headed a ball into the side netting en route to collecting a 1-0 lead for Minford in the 12th minute of action.
Even though Miami Trace’s Emily Powell came back to even the score after a corner kick resulted in a loose ball in front of the Minford net in the 20th, Daniels struck again as the senior scored off of a beautiful pass from Aspen Lambert that was launched all the way from the backline to the midfielder, who scored on a one-on-one opportunity in the 24th minute to give the Lady Falcons the lead for good. Risner added Minford’s third and final goal 58 minutes into the affair on a penalty kick to cap off the scoring.
“I was so pleased by the team’s performance today,” Tieman said. “They had Homecoming (on Friday night) so goodness knows how long they were up. Then, they’ve got to get up for a long bus ride to play a strong program. Great effort, great execution, great win. Proud of how this team is playing going into the tournament.”
The victory, which is Minford’s third in a row and the Lady Falcons’ seventh over its last 10 affairs, puts Minford in a great position to close the season strong. The Lady Falcons will host Waverly on Tuesday evening in its final regular season bout of the year.
Logan 3, South Webster 0
Over the years, Corey Claxon and the South Webster Jeeps’ soccer program have proven that they aren’t afraid to play anybody.
On Saturday afternoon, that point was proven once again as South Webster, despite being outmanned in large numbers, kept the Division I Logan Chieftains — who are 12-2-1 overall — scoreless in the first half as both teams battled to a 0-0 deadlock.
Unfortunately, the Jeeps, who have played beyond their years throughout the 2017 season, couldn’t keep Logan off of the scoreboard as the Chieftains’ numbers and playing ability allowed Logan to collect a 3-0 victory over South Webster in a bout that was played in Logan.
“We came up short today against a good Division I school,” Claxon said. “I think our biggest issue was the fact that we ran out of gas in the second half. We have a good roster of boys this year, but it’s hard to come in and play at the level needed in this type of game. We played without Shiloah (Blevins) in the second half as well.”
Throughout the first half of play, however, South Webster not only held its own, but established its own share of offensive chances behind the play of Blevins. Unfortunately, the 6-5 junior, in the process of chasing down possession of the ball, collided with Logan’s keeper, Isaac Gwinn, which sent Blevins off for the remainder of the contest.
“In the first half, I thought that we held our own,” Claxon said. “Shiloah had a few opportunities where the keeper came out and stopped the ball. That’s ultimately how he was hurt. The keeper came out, collected the ball, and kicked him in the process. I think Shiloah will be sore, but good to go next week.”
With arguably one of its top three offensive players out and another half to face a deep Logan roster, the Chieftains proved to be too much as Layton Cassady and Josh Price scored three goals in a matter of 11 minutes between the 53rd and 64th tallies to turn a 0-0 deadlock into a 3-0 Logan lead that would not be relented.
In the second half, we ended up chasing the ball a lot as they controlled possession throughout much of the half,” Claxon said. “They were subbing in four guys at a time, and that’s something that we couldn’t afford to do. All in all, it is good to face that kind of competition. We hope to show up hungry for a win Tuesday as we host Wheelersburg. The forecast is for rain, but hopefully it will be raining goals for the Jeeps.”
Even with the loss, the defeat — which is South Webster’s first regular season loss in over two years — only knocks the Jeeps’ record back to an 8-1-4 overall mark. South Webster will play Wheelersburg in South Webster on Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7