Blue Angels slip past Portsmouth

By Alex Hawley -

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — They had to work for it, but the Blue Angels have clinched at least a share of the Ohio Valley Conference championship for the third straight year.

The Gallia Academy volleyball team faced the most adversity in its 27-match league winning streak on Monday in Scioto County, but the Blue Angels prevailed in five games over host Portsmouth, giving the Lady Trojans two league losses with GAHS only having two matches remaining.

Gallia Academy (19-1, 12-0 OVC) — which has now won six league championships in the last five seasons — claimed the opening game by a 25-18 count after recording 14 service points, six aces and 11 kills.

The Blue Angels overcame their lowest side-out percentage of the night, 36.4, to win Game 2 by a 25-22 final, combining 17 service points, three aces and 14 kills.

Gallia Academy dropped the third game by a 25-20 count, however, earning just 10 service points with one ace and 11 kills. The Blue Angels had a negative hitting percentage in the fourth game, as Portsmouth evened the match with a 25-21 win.

The Blue and White saved their best for last, allowing just two service points en route to a 15-9 victory in the deciding fifth game. In the final game, GAHS posted 10 kills and boasted a match-best 77.8 side-out percentage.

For the match, Gallia Academy had a side-out percentage of just 47.4, with a serving percentage of 90.7. GAHS had 10 serving errors and 26 hitting errors in the victory, while recording 54 kills and 60 digs.

The Blue Angel service attack was led by Taylor Burnette with three aces. Ashton Webb, Ryelee Sipple, Hunter Copley and Katie Carpenter each had two aces in the win, while Alex Barnes added one ace.

Webb led the guests at the net with 25 kills and eight blocks. Barnes was next with 18 kills and four blocks, followed by Peri Martin with four kills, three blocks and a team-best 38 assists.

Aubrey Unroe posted three kills, Copley finished with two kills, Carpenter added one kill and one block, while Maddy Petro chipped in with one kill. Carpenter led the Blue Angel defense with 12 digs in the triumph.

Gallia Academy — ranked tied for 15th in the latest OHSVCA Division II Coaches Poll — also defeated the Lady Trojans on Sept. 5 in straight games at GAHS.

After a trip to South Point on Tuesday, GAHS will be wrap-up its 2017 regular season at home on Thursday against Chesapeake.

By Alex Hawley

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

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