3 OVC teams ready for district volleyball games

Published 12:28 am Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Jim Walker

The Ohio Valley Conference volleyball race is over, but not the season for the top three league teams.
Playing in the Division 3 and Division 2 district semifinals this week will be the OVC champion Gallipolis Blue Angels, the runner-up Fairland Lady Dragons and the third-place Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers.
Fairland is first up on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. game at Waverly High School against the Zane Trace Lady Pioneers. Fairland beat South Point in the sectional finals 25-22, 21-25, 15-25, 25-15 and 15-11.
Zane Trace features Alli Bennett with 228 kills, 282 assists and 33 aces along with Kinley May with 319 assists.
Bailey Roland with 95 kills, 52 aces and 294 assists — she has more than 1,000 career assists — is a leader for Fairland while Taylor Webb has 145 kills and Jenna Stone another 130 kills.
“Wehave grown so much as a team this season,” said Fairland coach Mary Haynes. “In being my first year at Fairland, I knew we had a lot of talent returning to the lineup but wasn’t sure how we would end up.
“This team has worked extremely hard this season and they are excited about the opportunity to play in the districts.”
Ironton comes into the district semifinal game 14-8 while Huntington Ross is 16-7. The two teams meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Waverly High School.
The Lady Tigers beat Oak Hill 23-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20 and 15-10 in the sectionals while Huntington topped Lynchburg-Clay 25-20, 23-25, 25-15 and 25-11.
The Lady Huntsmen are led by Megan Steel with 318 kills and 41 aces, Alyssa Steele with 737 assists including 53 in a game against Zane Trace, and Allison Basye with 34 blocks.
Ironton counters with Samantha LaFon with 344 kills and 49 aces, Lydia Hannan with 317 assists and Mary Beth Burton with 62 aces and 44 blocks.
Riley Schreck leads with 62 blocks and Peighton Rowe has 190 digs.
The teams have a common opponent in Southeastern. Ironton lost 3-0 to at home while Ross split their league games with Southeastern winning at home 3-1 and losing on the road 3-1.
“Huntington is a tough squad and they play in a tough SVC conference,” said Ironton coach Beth Campbell.
“They have players that play with a lot of intensity and they are familiar with the floor at Waverly and playing in the district level.”
Campbell said the team set a goal before the season to reach the district tournament.
“The one thing I admire most about this team is how they rely on each other. Each one of them contributes to the success that we have. Even the losses we have had this season, we keep in perspective. I always tell my girls to respect all and fear no one,” said Campbell.
Gallipolis faces the Muskingum Valley League co-champion Sheridan Lady Generals. Both teams are 22-2 on the season and meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Southeastern High School.
Gallipolis beat Waverly 25-19, 25-18 and 25-17 while Sheridan downed Washington Court House 25-15, 25-18 and 25-15 in the sectional finals.
Erin Schultz with 141 kills and 94 blocks leads Sheridan. Grace Conrad has 654 assists, 49 aces and 108kills.
Alex Barnes with 287 kills and 37 aces tops the Blue Angels while Peri Martin has 762 assists.
“This is a hard-working business-like team with great leadership. We’re looking forward to playing one game at a time,” said Gallipolis’ coach Janice Rosier.

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