Ironladies march past River Valley

By Alex Hawley -

BIDWELL, Ohio — On to October, and not a minute too soon.

The River Valley volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to non-conference guest Jackson, on Thursday evening in Gallia County, in the Lady Raiders’ final match of September, a month in which RVHS was just 1-10.

After 30 points were played in the opening game, River Valley (2-14) — which has dropped seven straight matches, all in straight games — and Jackson (6-10) were tied for the ninth time. From that point, JHS outscored the hosts 10-to-4, moving ahead 1-0 in the match with a 25-19 victory.

The Ironladies never trailed in the second game, but fought through three ties, the last of which came at eight. Jackson ended the second with a 17-1 run, giving the guests a 25-9 win.

Jackson scored the first eight points of the third game, but RVHS battled back to take a lead at 15-14. JHS regained the advantage at 17-16, but immediately gave the lead back to the Lady Raiders at 18-17. River Valley led by as much as four and the Lady Raiders were one point away from victory, but Jackson claimed six straight points to win the third game 26-24, capping off the 3-0 sweep.

The RVHS service attack was led by Jaden Neal and Angel Toler, who posted six points apiece, including four and two aces respectively. Carly Gilmore had five service points and three aces in the setback, Brianna McGuire posted four points, while Rayanna Adkins chipped in with three points. Emily Adkins, Cierra Roberts and Jessica Steele each had one service point, rounding out the River Valley total.

Gilmore led the hosts at the net with team-highs in kills and assists, with four of each. Steele posted two kills and one block, Neal added one kill and one block, while Toler and Isabella Mershon each had one kill in the match. Gilmore also led RVHS defensively with 23 digs, followed by Toler with 17.

Jackson’s service attack was led by Melinda Ruggles with 16 points and 11 aces. Abbey Munn led the net attack with seven kills, followed by Abby Woods and Carissa Lambert with five each. Mariah Ridgeway led the JHS defense with eight digs, while Hunter West added a pair of blocks. Maddie Munn and Jordan Banks were Jackson’s leading ball handlers, posting 11 and 10 assists respectively.

The Lady Raiders resume league play on Tuesday, when they visit league-leading Athens, which swept the Silver and Black on September 8 at RVHS.

Jackson — which is now 3-4 against Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division opponents — will look to make it three straight victories on Tuesday, when the Ironladies visit Vinton County.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

By Alex Hawley