WELLSTON, Ohio — They wanted the sweep, and maybe they should have just let them have it.
The River Valley volleyball team led Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division host Wellston two-games-to-none on Tuesday in Jackson County, but the Lady Rockets rallied back from down 11 to win the third game 28-26. The Lady Raiders responded with a 25-5 victory in the fourth game, however, sealing their fourth win in a row.
After a back-and-forth start to the night, RVHS (4-1, 1-0 TVC Ohio) took the Game 1 lead 8-7 and didn’t trail again. Wellston tied it at eight and nine, but the Silver and Black closed the set with a 16-to-5 run for a 25-14 win.
The Lady Rockets led for the first time in the second game at 5-4, but gave the advantage back to River Valley at 10-9. WHS tied the game at 11, but surrendered 14 of the next 18 points, falling 25-15 in the second.
River Valley was up 11 points, at 17-6, in the third game, but the hosts fought all the way back, tying it up at 22, 24 and 25 before finally regaining the lead at 26-25. River Valley tied it at 26, but Wellston scored the next two points to force a fourth game.
The Lady Raiders scored the first four points of the fourth and never looked back, rolling to the 25-5 win to cap of the 3-1 victory.
Leading the way for the victors, Mikenzi Pope had 23 service points and five aces, and Javan Gardner earned 19 points and two aces. Hannah Jacks was next with nine points and an ace, followed by Jaden Bradley with eight points and four aces. Rounding out the Lady Raider service, Malerie Stanley marked two points and Sydnee Runyon had one point on an ace.
Jacks led RVHS at the net with nine kills and three blocks. Pope was next with eight kills and a block, followed by Taylor Huck with six kills and two blocks. Bradley ended with three kills and a team-best 17 assists, while Runyon, Maddie Hall and Gracee Wamsley had two kills apiece, with a block by Runyon. Gardner came up with a kill and a block in the win, while Stanley had a team-high 13 digs.
The Lady Raiders — who are back in action at home on Thursday against Vinton County — will look for the season sweep against Wellston on Sept. 24 in Bidwell.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.