CENTENARY, Ohio — It won’t be remembered as the most dominant of the Blue Angels’ 36 straight regular season victories, but a win is a win.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team swept Ohio Valley Conference guest Fairland on Thursday night in Gallia County, with just eight points separating the teams over the final two games.
The Blue Angels (14-0) — winners of 23 league matches in a row, all in straight games — cruised in Game 1, posting 15 kills and five aces, while never trailing on their way to the 25-14 triumph.
Fairland and Gallia Academy battled through six ties and a pair of lead changes early in the second game, before the Lady Dragons opened a six-point advantage, at 15-9. The Blue Angels battled back to within two points at 18-16, but FHS extended its lead back to four and sat just three points away from a win, at 22-18.
In getting the service back, Gallia Academy pulled within three points, at 22-19. After that, GAHS sophomore Peri Martin reeled off six straight service points, including a pair of aces, to push the Blue Angles to the 25-22 comeback victory.
Following a pair of lead changes in the third game, GAHS opened up a seven-point edge, at 12-5. Fairland battled to within two points, but the Blue Angels didn’t relinquish the advantage, sealing the sweep with a 25-20 victory.
The Blue Angels — ranked 11th in the latest Division II OHSVCA Coaches Poll — were led by Taylor Burnette with 11 service points, including three aces. Martin and Ashton Webb both had nine points in the win, with two and five aces respectively. Hunter Copley claimed six points and one ace, while Alex Barnes, Ryelee Sipple and Katie Carpenter each had two service points, with an ace by Barnes.
Webb led the hosts at the net with 17 kills, followed by Barnes with nine. Copley earned five kills, Maddie Wright added four kills and a team-high two blocks, while Martin finished with two kills and a team-best 32 assists. Carpenter and Aubrey Unroe chipped in with a kill apiece, with Unroe also posting a block. The GAHS defense recorded 42 digs as a team, led by Copley with 15.
Fairland was led by Jenna Stone with 11 service points, followed by Taylor Webb and Marikate Polcyn with six points apiece. Bailey Roland with two points and Kelsie Warnock with one rounded out the FHS service attack.
The Blue Angels also swept Fairland in the season opener, on Aug. 24 in Proctorville.
After a non-conference tri-match with Chillicothe and fourth-ranked Logan Elm on Saturday, the Blue Angels will resume OVC play on Tuesday at Rock Hill.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.