RACINE, Ohio — And then there was one.
The Southern volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Waterford, on Monday night in Meigs County, making the Lady Wildcats the lone unbeaten team within the nine-team league.
After trailing 2-1 in the first game, Southern (10-2, 6-1 TVC Hocking) took a 3-2 lead as part of a 5-0 run. The Lady Tornadoes led the rest of the way, taking a 25-16 victory to move ahead 1-0 in the match.
“We prepared for the game and I think the girls came out with the intensity and focus that we needed,” Southern head coach Kim Hupp said. “We passed the ball very well, we ran our offense and that’s what helped us in the first game.”
Waterford (7-3, 6-0) — which is ranked third in the latest Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association Division IV poll — led by as much as five early on in the second game, but Southern fought back to tie the game at 18. However, the Lady Wildcats outscored SHS 7-to-2 from that point, winning the second game by a 25-20 tally to tie the match.
The third game featured four lead changes and 11 ties, the last of which came at 21. Waterford claimed the final four points of the third, winning the game by a 25-21 margin to move ahead 2-1 in the match. Four points was the largest lead for either team in the third game.
The Lady Tornadoes scored the first four points of the fourth game, but Waterford took the lead at 8-7 and never relinquished with. The Lady Cats — who are one of two teams SHS shared the 2015 TVC Hocking title with — won the fourth game by a 25-15 count, sealing the 3-1 match victory.
“Waterford is a nice team,” Hupp said. “They have some nice hitters, they started getting on and we weren’t getting the blocks we needed. Now that we’ve seen them a little bit, we can focus on where their hitters are, work on our blocking — making sure that we’re getting up quicker with the hitter and making sure we’re covering well — and just get focused.”
The SHS service attack was led by Sierra Cleland, Kamryn Smith and Amanda Cole with eight points apiece, including three aces by Cleland and one each by Smith and Cole. Marlee Maynard and Jane Roush each marked six service points and one ace, while Macie Michael and Marissa Johnson each finished with two points.
At the net, Faith Teaford led SHS with eight kills and two blocks. Cole also had eight kills in the setback, Maynard, Smith and Cleland each added five, while Michael finished with one kill and Johnson finished with two blocks. Maynard had a team-best 27 assists for the Purple and Gold.
SHS will try to avenge this setback on October 10, when the Lady Tornadoes invade Waterford.
Southern had won six consecutive matches headed into Monday, and the Purple and Gold will look to get back to their winning ways on Tuesday, at Wahama. SHS returns home on Thursday for a non-conference tilt with Williamstown.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.