As the end of the regular season approaches for volleyball teams in Scioto County, the Glenwood Tigers are aiming to win their third sectional in as many years under head coach Kendra Holbrook. “I would put my team up against any team” said Holbrook following the Tigers home victory over Ironton St. Joes Wednesday night, “It’s the night that we bring the energy and the intensity in the gym. In our gym tonight, it was quiet for most of the time. Everything I was saying to the girls, people could probably hear. I tell my girls all the time ‘You have to bring energy and intensity all the time’. When they bring those things, our hits are on and our sets are there. If our energy and positivity is there, I don’t doubt them at all.”
There was little to doubt in the Tigers win on Wednesday night on their home court. Ironton St. Joes would open the first set on a 6-1 run which forced Hobrook to use her first timeout of the set. After that point, Glenwood was able to make up a lot of the difference by going on scoring runs of five and eight points in the latter stages of the set. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the Flyers were determined to win that first set and were able to do so by scoring five of the final six points to ultimately win the set, 27-25.
Holbrook said the faltering her team did at the end of the first set has been a theme for her team throughout the season. “That’s our trend” said Holbrook, “We typically lay down the first set and then come alive the second, third, and fourth. I don’t know why that’s our trend, but that’s exactly what we do. I guess it just takes us a little bit to get warmed up.”
She would prove to be right as beginning with the second set, her team came out ready to play. Glenwood would go on two runs of four points and one run of five points in the second set and ultimately go on to win the set by a score of 25-16, evening the match up at 1-1 entering the pivotal third set.
One of the consistent themes in the Tigers game is how many different options they are able to have at the service line, including senior Morgan Rawlins, whose serve is a powerful one. “Sometimes in volleyball you look at the hitters as the ones who get all the glory” said Holbrook, “But she’s okay with taking a backseat and doing those things that are necessary for the team. Making sure she’s serving hard, and she’s also making sure she’s looking for open spots in the defense to where she can place her serves. She did a really great job for us tonight from behind the line.”
The pivotal third set would also go the Tigers way in the most decisive set of the night as Glenwood would go on to win the set by a score of 25-13. Behind two scoring runs of six points, the Tigers would showcase their ability from behind the service line and at the net to score points when necessary.
Leading the team in assists was setter Sammy Oiler who had a team-high 24 assists in her team’s victory on Wednesday night. “She’s a hustler” said Holbrook, “I’ve been telling her all season, ‘If there’s nothing else that you do, make sure you hustle.’ Sometimes she takes the hardest hits on defense. Sometimes we’ll put her in a position where we know the offense is going to be hitting it because we know the ball is going to come there and we know that is she willing to take that hit and do the best that she can with it.”
In the fourth and final set, the Flyers would show some life with late set rallies in their attempts to win Wednesday’s contest, but would ultimately fall short to Glenwood by a score of 25-18. Leading the Tigers in kills was Shelby Easter with 16 on the night. Brooklyn Hoskins lead Glenwood in service points and aces with 5 each, while Taylen Hickman and Easter tied for a team high 13 digs.
Glenwood will host the Eastern Eagles on their home court next Tuesday night in the final week of SOC I play before playoff play begins.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT