ALBANY, Ohio — Not quite the start the Blue Angels had envisioned.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team dropped its season-opener in straight games to non-conference host Alexander, falling by counts of 25-18, 25-23 and 25-23 on Monday in Athens County.
The Lady Spartans (1-0) never trailed in the opening game, fighting through ties at 6-6 and 7-7 en route to the seven-point win.
GAHS (0-1) led for the first time to start the second set, but AHS was in front at 13-12. The teams exchanged the lead four more times in Game 2, with the hosts scoring the four straight points to cap off the 25-23 win.
The Blue and White took the lead at 4-3 in the third game, but gave up the edge at 17-16 and never led again, ultimately falling by a 25-23 tally.
For the match, GAHS had a serve percentage of 98.5 and a side-out percentage of 52.1, while Alexander had a 97.3 serve percentage and a 60.6 side-out percentage.
MaKenna Caldwell led the Blue Angel service attack with seven points, including three aces. Maddy Petro and Jenna Harrison had six points apiece, Bailey Barnette added five points and two aces, while Regan Wilcoxon came up with three points and one ace. Maddie Meadows rounded out the team total with one point.
Lexi Grissett paced the hosts with nine service points, including three aces. Jarika Hart had eight points and three aces, while Erin Scurlock and Karsyn Raines claimed seven points apiece, with two aces by Raines. Rounding out the team total, Jadyn Mace and Brooke Casto marked two points each, with an ace by Mace.
At the net, Petro led the Blue Angels with eight kills and two blocks. Barnette was next with seven kills, followed by Chanee Cremeens with six kills and a block. Emma Hammons had four kills and a block in the setback, Harrison and Callie Wilson added two kills apiece, while Abby Hammons chipped in with a block.
Wilcoxon finished with a team-best 24 assists for Gallia Academy, while Harrison led the defense with 17 of the team’s 56 digs.
Leading the Lady Spartans at the net, Raines and Scurlock had a dozen kills apiece, with three and two blocks respectively. Brooke Casto — who led the AHS defense with 14 of the team’s 60 digs — ended with seven kills in the win. Macey Jordan came up with four kills and a block for the hosts, while Mace marked two kills and a match-high 29 assists.
Gallia Academy will begin its Ohio Valley Conference season on Thursday at Portsmouth.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.