Lady Tornadoes slip by Belpre

BELPRE, Ohio — A sweep to start September.

The Southern volleyball team opened the ninth month of the year with a victory in straight games over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Belpre on Tuesday evening in Washington County.

The Lady Tornadoes (3-2, 2-0 TVC Hocking) fell behind early in the opening game, but took the advantage at 5-4 and led the rest of the way. Southern’s first game lead grew as high as seven, as the Purple and Gold cruised to a 25-19 win to move ahead 1-0 in the match.

Southern won the hard-fought second game by a 27-25 count, after battling through 10 ties and seven lead changes. The Lady Tornadoes never led by more than three points in the game, while Belpre’s largest lead of the second was four points.

The Lady Golden Eagles grabbed an early lead in the third game, but Southern fought back to tie it at seven. Belpre reestablished its advantage at 8-7, but the Purple and Gold claimed the next eight points and never trailed again. Southern won the third by a 25-15 count, sealing the 3-0 sweep.

Southern’s service attack was led by senior libero Jane Roush, who finished with 13 points, including three aces. Phoenix Cleland had nine service points in the win, Sydney Cleland added eight points and one ace, while Baylee Grueser had five points and one ace for the victors.

Marissa Brooker and Jaiden Roberts each had three points for the Lady Tornadoes, with Brooker earning a pair of aces. Paige VanMeter rounded out the SHS total with two service points, including one ace.

Baylee Wolfe led Southern at the net, posting team-highs of eight kills and two blocks. Sydney Cleland had five kills for SHS, while Ervin, Roush, VanMeter and Julia Montgomery each had two kills, with Ervin recording also one block. Phoenix Cleland and Kassie Barton both had one kill in the victory, while Roush led the defense with four digs.

Southern will hope for the same result when the Lady Golden Eagles visit Racine, on September 26. The Purple and Gold will be back in action on Thursday, when they host archrival Eastern.

By Alex Hawley

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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.