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Titans find way to defeat Van Wert PDF Print E-mail
Friday, August 30, 2013 12:09 AM

By Charlie Warnimont

DHI Correspondent

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OTTAWA — Momentum was hard to hold as Van Wert and Ottawa-Glandorf battled in the Western Buckeye League volleyball opener for both teams Thursday evening at the Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium.

All three games played were white knucklers as the two teams traded leads back and forth before the Titans found a way in each game to pull out the win 27-25, 25-23, 25-20. The win improved the Titans to 3-2 on the season, while the Cougars dropped their first contest of the season in falling to 3-1.

The first game was a clear indication of how the night would go.

O-G took an early 9-6 lead with four straight points before the Cougars came back to tie the game at 9-9. The two squads traded points until the Titans went up 17-14. O-G had a 20-16 lead on a Niki Ellerbrock kill and an ace by the junior. An O-G player in the net gave Van Wert a side out and the Cougar offense rallied to take a 22-20 lead as Amanda Coplin and Alexa Dunlap had kills and the Titans helped out with three hitting errors.

O-G came back to tie the game at 23-23 on an Anna Bellman tip kill before the Cougars went up 24-23 on an Alexis Dowdy kill. The Titans went up 25-24 on two little push shots before a kill by the Cougars Taylor Doidge tied the game at 25-25. The Titans got a sideout on an Ellerbrock slam down the left sideline before Van Wert was called in the net going for a block handing the first game to the Titans.

After a thrilling first game, the two teams didn’t let up in the second game as they went back and forth at each other.

Once again the Titans grabbed the early lead with four straight points for a 9-6 advantage. The Titans held the lead until Van Wert scored six straight points for a 16-12 lead. Two of the points came on aces by Amanda Coplin, while O-G helped out with three straight hitting errors. The rest of the second game saw the teams exchange the lead as O-G rallied to go up 19-17 on an Ashley Stechschulte ace before Van Wert got a side out on a kill by Doidge.

With the score knotted at 19-19, O-G scored three straight points as Olivia Hermiller had a kill and a block for a kill before Ellerbrock hammered a kill. The Cougars came back to tie the game at 22-22 as Dunlap had a kill. The Titans regained the lead on a kill by Ellerbrock and went up 24-22 before Coplin returned the serve to Van Wert with a big hit. The Cougars were unable to pull any closer as misplayed ball gave the Titans a 2-0 lead in games.

The third game started off much like the first two as O-G had an early 5-1 lead before the Cougars rallied for a 7-6 lead when an O-G block attempt went out of bounds. The Titans regained the serve when they tipped a ball to an open space on the floor. O-G ran off four straight points for an 11-7 lead as Brooke Eiden had a kill and the Cougars helped out with a couple of mistakes.

This time the Titans never lost the lead as they pushed the lead to 21-12 when a Van Wert attack was hit into the net. Despite the deficit the Cougars battled back as they pulled within 23-18 when O-G had trouble handling a serve by McKenzie Collins. A tip kill by Eiden gave O-G match point before the Cougars used a timeout, then scored two points to come within 24-20. Eiden made sure it didn’t get any closer as her attack found an open space on the floor giving the Titans a hard-fought win.

“I thought the games were really well played,” Van Wert coach Vicki Smith said. “I told the girls they could walk out of here with their heads held high because they played hard. They (O-G) tip the ball a lot, so a lot of their points came on those tips. We just need to work on that coverage. We practice to push and get the lead and tonight we struggled to get ahead a couple of points and be able to finish the game. We had that last little run (third game) and got the momentum going but it was a little to late.”

O-G coach Ann Ellerbrock felt the Cougars defense was key to them being able to stay in all three games.

“Van Wert’s defense just kept getting the ball back in play. We would think the ball would be dead and they would make an honest attempt at it and get it back over,” Ellerbrock said. “It was a nice scrappy effort by their defense to keep the ball in play. We are a young team and we are going to have some runs where we look really good and we still have some things to work on. We are playing a couple of freshmen and its taking some time to get them from the eighth grade ball to the varsity gaame, but we are working hard every day.”

Ellerbrock finished with 15 kills and 14 digs for the Titans and Eiden had 14 kills. Lauren Buddelmeyer had 22 assists and Kayla Leatherman had 18 digs and an ace.

Van Wert won the junior varsity game 21-25, 25-9, 25-23.


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