CENTENARY, Ohio — One for the thumb.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team claimed its fifth straight sectional championship on Saturday in Gallia County, with the second-seeded Blue Angels winning in straight games over third-seeded Waverly.
GAHS (22-2) — ranked 16th in the final OHSVCA Division II Poll — gave up the first three points of the match, but answered with a 9-to-2 run. Waverly (20-4) was back in front at 10-9, but gave up the next four markers. WHS tied it at 16, but never regained the edge, falling by a 25-19 count in the opener.
The Blue Angels never trailed in Game 2, with the lone tie of their 25-15 victory coming at 9-all.
The hosts took the lead at 4-3 in the third game and led the rest of the way to the match-clinching 25-16 victory.
Following the Blue Angels’ fourth consecutive straight games win at the sectional level, sixth-year head coach Janice Rosier talked about what led her club to victory.
“We knew what Waverly was going to bring at us,” Rosier said. “They have a great outside hitter, they have a really good right-side hitter, and we knew they were going to hit it at us, so we worked on that a lot. When our block wasn’t there, we just made some adjustments. Our strength was our communication, that was probably the best we’ve talked. I thought our teamwork was really good tonight, everybody just played hard.”
The Blue and White service attack was led by Alex Barnes with 13 points and three aces. MaKenna Caldwell was next with 12 points and one ace, followed by Bailey Barnette with seven points and one ace. Peri Martin picked up five points in the win, Maddie Wright added three points and two aces, while Maddy Petro claimed one point on an ace.
Barnes also paced the victors at the net with 12 kills and a block. Petro posted seven kills and three blocks in the win, Barnette added six kills, while Martin came up with four kills, three blocks and a team-best 27 assists. Wright finished with two kills and a block for GAHS, while Abby Hammons earned a block.
Kelli Stewart led Waverly with seven service points, followed by Hailie Silcott with six. Mattie Elliott picked up two points for the guests, while Annie Silcott and Karli Knight added a point apiece.
The Blue Angels have now ousted Waverly from the sectional tournament three times in their five-year reign, also knocking the Lady Tigers out in 2016 and 2018.
The Blue and White take a nine-match winning streak into Wednesday’s district semifinal against top-seeded Sheridan at Southeastern High School. The Lady Generals — ranked eighth in the D-2 coaches poll — ended the Blue Angels’ 2018 season in the district semifinal.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.