The Wheelersburg Pirates defeated the Waverly Tigers in three straight sets Tuesday night.
Wheelersburg (16-5, 12-1) displayed high energy out from the start, feeding off the home, playoff-like atmosphere. Waverly was forced to take a timeout after an 8-3 start, but they couldn’t stop the Pirate’s momentum as they went on to win the first set 25-10.
“We had went through a little rut, and were challenged with some adversity a little earlier in the year,” said Pirates head coach Kendra Coleman. “All we’ve been working on is being a family, getting momentum, doing the little things right and really executing when we need to. We came in Friday, Saturday and Monday and really hit it hard in practice. They really wanted to redeem themselves against Waverly because of our showing up there. I don’t even know what to say, that is the best I’ve ever seen them. They played very well tonight.”
The second set went no better for the Waverly Tigers, as Wheelersburg opened with an 8-1 lead. After a time out, Waverly continued to look as though they were sapped of energy, succumbing 25-8. The third set started out better for the Tigers as they took an early 2-4 lead, but the Pirates quickly battled back and completed the sweep with a 25-14 score.
Marley Hanzel looked fantastic, she kept her feet active and was a dominate presence in tonight’s game, racking up 22 kills and 10 digs. Sydney Holden had 8 kills, 7 digs, and 12 points and Kasey Bergan had 32 assists and 11 points.
“We just couldn’t stop their hits,” said Waverly coach Nancy Terry. “Apparently they came more ready to play than we were. But how can I be ashamed of a team that will either tie for first or get second play in the SOC? We’ve beat them before, and they still have to beat Portsmouth West. But there’s no way I can be ashamed of a team like this, it’s a great group of seniors. We could just not stop their hits tonight, we couldn’t keep up with their energy.”
As Coach Terry said, Wheelersburg is in the Driver’s seat and control their own destiny within the SOC. With a win over the West Senators on Thursday, Wheelersburg would claim an outright SOC title. However, with a loss they would tie for first with the Waverly Tigers. “Coming into West, West is playing really good volleyball,” admits Coach Coleman. “But, we’ve worked really hard and faced adversity, and are really doing the things they should be doing. We will be focusing on them tomorrow and find out what we need to do for Thursday.”
Wheelersburg (16-5, 12-1) plays at West (16-5, 9-4) Thursday at 5:30 P.M.
Waverly (14-6, 10-2) plays at Minford (7-13, 3-9) Thursday at 5:30 P.M.
25-10, 25-8, 25-14
Reach Derrick Parker at email@example.com or on twitter @DC__Parker