|Vikings remain unbeaten at expense of Bulldogs|
|Wednesday, August 28, 2013 12:05 AM|
By DAVE BONINSEGNA
COLUMBUS GROVE — The start of any season can be a shaky one, getting out the cobwebs, shaking off the dust and getting in sync.
That was never more prevalent than on Tuesday night at Columbus Grove as the Bulldogs and Leipsic Vikings tipped off the Putnam County League volleyball season.
The Bulldogs (2-1, 0-1 PCL) took the early lead in each game. In fact, in the fourth, they had game point for eight serves before the Vikings made a roaring comeback to complete the match win 3-1.
Leipsic (5-0, 1-0 PCL) took the contest 25-19, 12-25, 25-23 and a come-from-way-behind 26-24.
Grove took a 10-6 advantage in set one before the Vikings made their comeback; a pair of hitting errors on the part of the Bulldogs allowed the guests to draw closer but Leipsic returned the favor after a serve into the net made it a 11-10 contest. However, the Vikings would tie the game on a Amber Gerdeman spike and take the lead on another Gerdeman kill. Nonetheless, the home team was strong at the net as well as Sammi Stechshulte delivered a shot to the Leipsic side of the court to tie the game at 13-13.
After a series of unforced errors on both sides of the court, the Vikings took the lead for good at 19-14 on the strength of a 6-0 run despite great net play by Stechschulte and Julia Wynn (12 kills).
The Bulldogs took early control in game two as well, getting up by as many as 12-2 with Briana Glass (14/15 serving, 2 aces) leading the way with a pair of kills and aces. The teams traded hitting errors again midway in the contest but Kelsey McCluer helped seal the win late with a kill to make it 24-12 and a hitting error by the guests gave the Bulldogs a 25-12 win.
Like the previous two sets, the Bulldogs took control early and led for most of the set but Amber Gerdeman and Emily Ellerbrock helped pave the way for the comeback. However, the catalyst of the return came from Hailey Gerten. Gerten had five kills late in the set as the Vikings tied the score five times at 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 before pulling away to grab the 25-23 victory.
In set four … see set three, almost exactly. However, the Vikings pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat facing a fifth set. But with the score at 24-17 in favor of Columbus Grove, the guest slowly crept their way back, scoring nine points in a row to stave off their hosts.
Gerdeman had back-to-back kills, while Gerten provided a pair of aces in the rally. With the score at 25-24 on the side of Leipsic, it was their turn not only at set point but match point. Fittingly and the way the match had went for both sides, the game would end on a hitting error by Columbus Grove, giving the Vikings a 3-1 match win.
Kelli Vorst added 20 digs, Hope Schroeder 8/8 serving and Rachel Schumacher 17 assists for the hosts.
Grove hosts Arlington 10 a.m. Saturday.