CENTENARY, Ohio — Two days, two sets of Lady Tigers tamed.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team battled back from a two-game deficit to defeat non-conference guest Marietta on Monday, and then the Blue Angels claimed their 59th consecutive Ohio Valley Conference victory with a 3-0 sweep of Ironton on Tuesday in Gallia County.
On Monday, GAHS (3-1) led for the first time at 8-7 in the opening game, but the Marietta was back in front at 11-10. Gallia Academy led again at 12-11, but gave up the next five points and didn’t regain the edge, ultimately falling by a 25-18 count.
MHS led wire-to-wire in the second game, moving 2-0 in the match with a second straight 25-18 win.
Gallia Academy led by as many as seven points, at 11-4, in the third game, but Marietta battled back to take the lead at 16-15. After giving the lead back to GAHS at 18-17, the Lady Tigers took the edge back at 19-18. The Blue Angels, however, answered with a 7-to-1 run for a 25-20 win.
Marietta led by as many as five points in the early part of the fourth, but Gallia Academy battled back to tie it at 11. A 5-0 run by MHS was answered by a 5-0 run by GAHS and the teams were tied at 16. The Lady Tigers claimed the next two points for an 18-16 lead, but gave up the next five markers.
Marietta regained the Game 4 lead at 22-21, but Gallia Academy took the next four points for a 25-22 win, forcing a fifth game.
Gallia Academy trailed 1-0 in the fifth, but scored the next four points and never trailed again on its way to the match-clinching 15-12 victory.
Maddy Petro led GAHS with 13 service points, including two aces. MaKenna Caldwell was next with 12 points and an ace, followed by Regan Wilcoxon with 11 points and Bailey Barnette with 10 points and four aces. Jenna Harrison and Maddi Meadows rounded out Gallia Academy’s service with six points apiece, including three and two aces respectively.
Barnette led the Blue Angels at the net with 15 kills and a block, followed by Petro with 10 kills and five blocks. Emma Hammons and Chancee Cremeens had eight kills apiece, with four blocks and one block respectively. Abby Hammons contributed three kills and four blocks to the winning cause, Wilcoxon chipped in with two kills, one block and a team-high 38 assists, while Harrison picked up one kill and a 31 of the team’s 88 digs.
On Tuesday, Gallia Academy trailed Ironton 12-10 in the first game, but scored 15 of the next 16 points to win the first by a 25-13 tally.
The Blue Angels never trailed in the second set, fighting through ties at one, two and 17, on their way the 25-19 victory.
After five lead changes in the third game, the teams were tied at 20. GAHS picked up a two-point lead, but Ironton fought back to tie it at 23. The Blue Angels scored the next two points, however, capping their 32nd consecutive OVC sweep with a 25-23 win.
GAHS — now a perfect 36-0 at home in OVC-play — was led by Petro with 18 points and five aces. Meadows and Wilcoxon had seven points apiece, with an ace by Meadows, while Barnette and Caldwell had four points each, with two aces by Barnette. Harrison rounded out the Blue Angel service with two points.
At the net, Petro led the way with 15 kills and a block. Cremeens was next with nine kills, followed by Barnette with seven. Emma Hammons had six kills and five blocks in the win, Abby Hammons added two kills and two blocks, while Wilcoxon ended with one kill and a match-best 39 assists.
The Blue and White will have a chance for a season sweep of both sets of Lady Tigers, as they visit Marietta on Sept. 22 and then they travel to Ironton on Sept. 29.
Gallia Academy will be back in action on Thursday at South Point.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.