CENTENARY, Ohio — A tremendous start to the tournament.
The fifth-seeded Gallia Academy volleyball team claimed a straight games sweep of 12th-seeded guest Athens, in the opening round of the Division II postseason on Wednesday in Gallia County.
The Blue Angels (20-3) scored the first 10 points in each of the first two games, and didn’t allow a service point in either, winning by counts of 25-3 and 25-4.
Athens (7-13) claimed the first three points of the third set, but Gallia Academy took the lead at 5-4 and led the rest of the way to the match-clinching 25-20 win.
Regan Wilcoxon had match-bests of 22 service points and three aces to lead the Blue Angels. Bailey Barnette was next with 19 points and two aces, followed by Callie Wilson with eight points and two aces, and Maddy Petro with four points.
Petro led the Blue and White at the net with 14 kills and five blocks. Abby Hammons claimed five kills and four blocks in the win, Barnette added six kills, while Chanee Cremeens chipped in with five kills. Wilcoxon, Maddi Meadows and Emma Hammons had a kill apiece in the contest, with Wilcoxon earning a match-best 30 assists. Jenna Harrison led the Blue Angel defense with 23 digs.
Bailey Cordray-Davis led Athens with four points, followed by Layken Mullins with three. Kristina Rana and Grace Reed both earned one service point in the setback.
Leading Athens at the net, Rana had three kills and a block, while Ava Williams earned four kills. Reed, Harper Bennett and Greta Gunderson had a kill apiece for Athens, with Bennett also picking up a block. Cordray-Davis and Williams both claimed four assists and one block for the guests.
GAHS also topped Athens in straight games on Sept. 19 in The Plains. The Lady Bulldogs’ 2019 postseason was also ended at Gallia Academy in the sectional semifinal.
This marks the sixth year in a row GAHS has won at least one postseason match, as well as the sixth consecutive season the Blue Angels have hit the 20-win milestone.
Next, the Blue Angels will visit fourth-seeded Vinton County on Saturday, as Gallia Academy goes for its sixth straight sectional title.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.