WHEELERSBURG — The Wheelersburg Lady Pirates’ volleyball team showed little to suggest they have any plans of slowing down — following their 3-0 win over Alexander on Wednesday in a D-III district semifinal.
In their clean-sweep win (25-7, 25-13, 25-12), the Lady Pirates won each set by at least 12 points — setting the tone early with a 25-7 win in set one.
“I was super-excited to see that our girls showed up tonight. I thought at times we were clicking, everything was working out right,” ‘Burg coach Allen Perry said, after the win. “Defensively we were scrambling and making sure nothing hit the ground. I like the focus, I liked that we came in ready to play.”
Following the decisive set-one win, Wheelersburg continued on its start with 12 and 13-point wins to finish off the visiting Lady Spartans on their home court.
Clinching the three-set win meant that the Lady Pirates’ program has qualified for the D-III district final for the sixth consecutive season.
“Something that we talked about in the huddles was making sure to stay focused and don’t lose intensity,” Perry said. “They did that tonight, really kept going through every point in all three sets.”
Unofficially, senior Ryleigh Meeker led the Lady Pirates with a team-high 12 kills.
Also unofficially, Catie Boggs totaled eight kills, while Madie Mays and Lexie Rucker had five apiece.
Makenna Walker finished with a team-high 29 assists, with Rucker leading the way with 18 digs defensively.
Perry praised his two seniors — Meeker and Lyndsay Heimbach — for their leadership on and off the court, and as players following their last game on their home court.
“For all four years, even through our Final Four run, Lyndsay Heimbach was a vocal leader and it’s been great to have her back on the court and a leader on this team. In all my years of coaching, it’s been so fun to watch Ryleigh Meeker as a lead by example type of player. She does her job, has fun, and really enjoys the game. She really stepped up as a leader and team captain on this year’s team,” he said.
Wednesday’s win was the second time in four seasons that the Lady Pirates have defeated Alexander, also doing so in the 2018 D-III district final at Waverly.
With their three set-win, the No. 5-seed Lady Pirates advance to Saturday’s D-III district final against No. 2-seed Zane Trace.
Their meeting in Waverly on Saturday will mark three weeks from their Oct. 9 win over the Lady Pioneers in five sets — their only non-league loss during the 2021 season.
Perry believes it will take his team’s A-game to hand Zane Trace another defeat — and win the program’s fifth straight D-III district title.
“We were very fortunate when we played them the first time to walk out with a five-set victory — it could have easily gone the other way. I’ve seen them play at a level that’s pretty intimidating, and we’re going to have to play our absolute best every single set and every ball in order to stay in it,” he said. “If we can do that, I think we’ve got a shot, but it’s going to take our A-game.”
Wheelersburg and Zane Trace will meet at Waverly High School on Saturday (Oct. 30) in their district final at 2 p.m.