Jeeps gear for state trip


SW faces Rangers in state semi

By Jacob Smith - jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com



South Webster senior Rylee McGraw (9) attempts a block on a Newark Catholic kill during the Lady Jeeps’ D-IV regional final win over the Green Wave.

South Webster senior Rylee McGraw (9) attempts a block on a Newark Catholic kill during the Lady Jeeps’ D-IV regional final win over the Green Wave.


Ed Litteral | Daily Times

South Webster seniors Bri Claxon (left) and Grace Claxon (right) play defense during the Lady Jeeps’ win over Newark Catholic in a D-IV regional final.


Ed Litteral | Daily Times

South Webster volleyball coach Darcee Claxon (left) and seniors Rylee McGraw (center) and Faith Maloney (right) cheer on the Lady Jeeps during their three-set win over Newark Catholic in a Division IV regional final.


Ed Litteral | Daily Times

SOUTH WEBSTER — When the Jeep train rolls out of their village on Thursday morning, the South Webster High School volleyball team is hoping to make its 254-mile round trip to Wright State University’s Nutter Center a three-day excursion.

After the Lady Jeeps’ three-set sweep of Newark Catholic in Saturday’s Division IV regional final — arguably the biggest win in program history — there was plenty of celebration at Bloom-Carroll High School.

The SW volleyball program successfully claimed their first regional title and became the third Scioto County team in four years to reach the OHSAA volleyball state tournament.

There have been high points along the way, but according to the Lady Jeeps’ senior captains, no win has been sweeter as part of their 25-1 campaign and impressive 22-game win streak.

“I think it’s the best feeling — I’ve never felt so much joy,” Rylee McGraw said, of winning the regional title. “Seeing my teammates faces and making history for the village, it’s amazing.”

“Coming back from the last few years almost making it to state, and last year we were close with Newark Catholic,” Bri Claxon said. “Having the opportunity to play them again and kind of get revenge, advance to state, it’s one of the best feelings ever.”

In their run to Thursday’s D-IV state semifinal, the Lady Jeeps have dropped just a single set — going 5-0 and outscoring their opponents 15-1 in sets played through their regional tournament run.

Their opponent in the second of two D-IV state semis, New Knoxville (25-2), owns a very similar record to South Webster and has dropped two sets in their postseason journey — one to top-ranked New Bremen in their district final and another to defending state champion Tiffin Calvert in their regional final.

Both teams feature members of the D-IV OHSVCA All-Ohio teams.

South Webster senior hitter Faith Maloney and New Knoxville setter Ellie Gabel and middle hitter Carsyn Henschen earned first team all-Ohio honors.

Another NK middle hitter — Avery Henschen — was named second-team all-Ohio, while South Webster senior libero Grace Claxon was Honorable Mention all-Ohio.

Both Claxon and Maloney spoke to what their team will need to do to knock off the second-ranked team in the week-five OHSVCA poll.

And, as both mentioned, with a 22-game winning streak and being ranked the No. 7 team in the OHSVCA poll, they too belong on the big stage.

“It’s about being consistent. They’re a disciplined team, and traditional,” Claxon said. “If we play our game and how we know to play, we should be fine.”

“Playing as a team,” Maloney said. “We all get along so well, staying together and keeping each other in check is what makes this team so close.”

South Webster and New Knoxville’s D-IV state semifinal will begin tentatively at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Wright State University’s Nutter Center, following the conclusion of the first state semi — between St. Henry (21-6) and Monroeville (23-4).

The D-IV state championship will be played between the winners of the two state semis — on Saturday, Nov. 13 with a tentative start of 1 p.m.

South Webster senior Rylee McGraw (9) attempts a block on a Newark Catholic kill during the Lady Jeeps’ D-IV regional final win over the Green Wave.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/11/web1__DSC8444_DxO-2.jpgSouth Webster senior Rylee McGraw (9) attempts a block on a Newark Catholic kill during the Lady Jeeps’ D-IV regional final win over the Green Wave. Ed Litteral | Daily Times

South Webster seniors Bri Claxon (left) and Grace Claxon (right) play defense during the Lady Jeeps’ win over Newark Catholic in a D-IV regional final.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/11/web1__DSC7927_DxO-3.jpgSouth Webster seniors Bri Claxon (left) and Grace Claxon (right) play defense during the Lady Jeeps’ win over Newark Catholic in a D-IV regional final. Ed Litteral | Daily Times

South Webster volleyball coach Darcee Claxon (left) and seniors Rylee McGraw (center) and Faith Maloney (right) cheer on the Lady Jeeps during their three-set win over Newark Catholic in a Division IV regional final.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/11/web1__DSC8487_DxO-2.jpgSouth Webster volleyball coach Darcee Claxon (left) and seniors Rylee McGraw (center) and Faith Maloney (right) cheer on the Lady Jeeps during their three-set win over Newark Catholic in a Division IV regional final. Ed Litteral | Daily Times
SW faces Rangers in state semi

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved