It was an epic five-game match between Portsmouth and Wheelersburg on Saturday, but in the end, the Pirates had just a bit more firepower. They defeated the Trojans 23-25, 25-8, 25-17, 22-25, 15-10 in the second game of a doubleheader at Wheelersburg High School.
The Trojans got off to a hot start, holding off Wheelersburg for a two-point win in the first set. The Portsmouth offense was working early, led by sophomore Aiden Fields. She recorded a team-high 12 kills throughout Thursday’s match.
But Wheelersburg quickly found its footing, easily taking sets two and three. The Pirates’ senior duo of Marley Hanzel (24 kills) and Syndey Holden (20 kills) proved to be overpowering, as the two combined for over 40 kills on the evening.
However, Portsmouth wouldn’t go away. The eeked out a three-point win in game four to keep the match alive. The Trojans’ defense stepped up to slow down Wheelersburg’s potent offense, led by Baleigh Bradley’s 15 digs throughout the match.
In the decisive fifth game, Wheelersburg’s offense proved to be just too much, and the Pirates clinched the match with a 15-10 win.
Wheelersburg setter Kasey Bergan came up with 42 assists throughout the match to keep the Pirate offense running smoothly.
Early in the day, the Pirates were able to come up with a three-game sweep of North Adams, 25-19, 25-14, 27-25. Wheelersburg was again led by Hanzel, who recorded a team-high 17 kills. Defensively, Ellie Ruby came up with 14 digs and Makayla Akers recorded eight blocks.
Portsmouth takes the court again on Monday, when they host Piketon in a non-conference match. Wheelersburg resumes conference play Tuesday, when they travel to Northwest.
Reach Alex Hider at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931 or on Twitter @PDTSportsWriter