The Minford Lady Falcons were able to defeat the Portsmouth Trojans in their Division III volleyball sectional matchup in straight sets, 3-0.
After a close start of the first set, which was at one point tied 8-8, the Lady Falcons were able to pull away as the set continued by scoring 17 of the final 21 set points to take home the first set by a score of 25-11. This would be the closest set of the night as Minford continued to settle in as the match progressed.
In the second set, the Lady Trojans once again kept things close for the first part of the set before ultimately falling behind, forcing coach Deanna Smith to call timeouts with her team trailing by scores of 8-4 and 15-9 respectively. Minford’s strong serving and set play ability was ultimately too much for Portsmouth to handle in the second set as they closed out the set by scoring 10 of the final 11 points to win the set 25-10 and take a 2-0 match lead.
In the third and what would ultimately be the final set of the night, Minford jumped out to an early lead of 12-1, carrying their momentum over from the previous two set victories. The Lady Falcons continued their tear, winning the third and final set by a score of 25-5 to advance to the sectional championship.
“We had spots of playing well” said Minford head coach Rachel Stapleton following her team’s sectional victory Tuesday night, “It’s hard I think when there isn’t a lot of noise going on in the gym. Nobody was saying anything in the stands, so it was hard to get going, to keep our consistency. We like to play at our speed and at our pace, and I think we were able to do that better tonight than we have in some of our recent games.”
Statistically, the Lady Falcons kills leaders were Ashley Blankenship and Ally Coriell with 17 and 10 respectively. From the service line, Livi Shonkwiler had 6 aces, Cassidy Lebrun had 4 aces, and Hannah Thacker had 2 aces. Shonkwiler also led the team in assists with 18 while teammate Makenzie Watters had 11. Defensive, Minford was led by Maddie Slusher and Lebrun who each had 11 digs in their victory over Portsmouth.
Minford’s win Tuesday night advances them to the sectional championship match Saturday night at 4:00 p.m. against Adena.
“I’m really thrilled it’ll be a home advantage for us” said Stapleton in preparation for their contest Saturday, “Adena is a good, solid team. They’re very defensive oriented, so we need to look at our service and receiving points to be able to take them down on Saturday.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT