CENTENARY, Ohio — Now that was worth the wait.
The Gallia Academy volleyball team needed five games, but the Blue Angels ultimately picked up their first win over Warren in five years Thursday night during a thrilling 25-16, 21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13 triumph in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League opener for both squads in Gallia County.
The host Blue Angels (3-0, 1-0 SEOAL) stormed out to leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the match, but the Lady Warriors countered with follow-up wins to force an all-decisive fifth and final game. Both teams battled back and forth down the stretch, but GAHS ultimately held to claim the 3-2 match decision.
“This team never gave up. We kept great attitudes, played hard and never lost sight of the goal,” GAHS coach Traci Sisson-Good said. “We wanted it more, and I’m proud of our girls.”
The Blue Angels last defeated Warren on October 13, 2007 in Gallipolis for the 2007 SEOAL championship. GAHS won the Day of Champions meeting in straight games 26-24, 25-20, 25-15 for the program’s first outright SEOAL title.
Gallia Academy and Warren did not face each other in either 2008 or 2009, and the Lady Warriors won the last four head-to-head meetings from the previous two regular seasons.
Kendra Barnes led the Angels’ service attack with 27 points, followed by Riley Nibert and Breanna West with eight points apiece. Taylor Allen added five points to the winning cause, while Maggie Westfall had four points.
Westfall led the net attack with 14 kills and four blocks, followed by Nibert with 10 kills and five blocks. Haleigh Caldwell and Chelsy Slone each added four kills to the victory, while West and Allen both contributed three kills apiece.
Micah Curfman and Kassie Shriver added two kills to the winning cause as well. Slone and West also had two blocks each for GAHS, while Curfman added one block.
Shriver led the passing game with 21 assists, followed by Allen with 10 assists. Barnes led the defense with 15 digs, West added 10 digs and Nibert had nine digs for the hosts.