|Lady Green outlasts Jays in volleyball marathon|
|Monday, October 01, 2012 1:07 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
OTTOVILLE — Ottoville won the first two games of its volleyball matchup with St. John’s Saturday morning/afternoon at L.W. Heckman Gymnasium.
The Lady Blue Jays rallied to win the next two games and force a fifth game.
The Lady Green regained the momentum and finished off a 5-set marathon to grab a 25-19, 25-20, 23-25, 15-25, 15-12 win.
Both St. John’s coach Kellie Sterling and Ottoville counterpart Kirt Martz were generally pleased with their team’s respective efforts.
“We did get off to a slow start and fell behind 2-0. Both teams were very scrappy today; I played here and I know they teach their girls to not let anything hit the floor if at all possible,” Sterling observed. “We battled back in the third game and stayed intense the entire time. We capitalized on their mistakes in the third and fourth games and also had our share of good hits.”
“I thought we had the momentum in the first two games but St. John’s then really played well the third and fourth games. They played phenomenal defense and we couldn’t get anything down,” Martz explained. “It wasn’t that we didn’t play well; it was to the credit of how well St. John’s played. We also played well overall. Our youngsters are growing each game and match.”
A kill by Lady Green junior Tonya Kaufman (57-of-57 setting, 10 assists) started off game 5. It was a back-and-forth game until a 5-0 spurt — with senior Tammy Wannemacher (29-of-31 serving, 3 aces) serving for four of them — led by a kill and stuff by junior Nikki Burgei and kills by Kaufman and Annie Lindeman (25-of-32 hitting, 8 kills; 12 digs) to take the hosts (6-10) from down 7-6 to up 11-7. The visitors (5-12) retaliated on three hitting errors by the Green and an ace from Jays’ junior Kaylie Youngpeter (4 aces) to notch an 11-all tie. A combo stuff by Lindeman and Burgei and a hitting error left a 12-12 tie. A spike off the Blue Jay block by Kaufman put the serve in the hands of Ottoville. Senior Abby Siefker put one down from the middle position and Wannemacher pushed one deep into the left corner that the back row could not dig up successfully to finish the marathon.
The first game was back-and-forth for most of the way, with Siefker and company battling the likes of St. John’s senior Heather Vogt (12 blocks, 5 kills) and her mates. After a stuff by St. John’s junior Alicia Buettner (11 kills, 8 blocks) tied the opener at 18, a hitting error gave the Green and Gold the serve. An ace by Wannemacher consolidated the lead and a hitting miscue on game point put Ottoville up 1-0.
The second game was very much like the first, with only one major run — a 6-0 spurt by the hosts on four hitting miscues by the Jays, an ace by Wannemacher and a kill by Lindeman — that put the Green up 19-14. That was enough as the Blue and Gold could never recover. A missed spike by the visitors put Ottoville in control at 2-0.
The Jays got off quickly in the third game — 4-0 on two kills from senior Lauren Utrup, an ace by senior Bailie Hulihan and a stuff by Vogt — but the hosts responded with a 7-0 span, capped by a tip from Kaufman, to go up 8-5. From then on, it was a battle for supremacy. The lead went back and forth until a hit off the Ottoville front line by Buettner tied it at 23. Consecutive aces by senior Christie Carder (20 assists, 3 aces) kept the Jays’ hopes alive and resulted in a fourth game.
The fourth installment started off very much likes its predecessors, with the teams countering point for point. The Jays built a 9-6 edge before the hosts pieced together a 5-0 span — all on either an ace, kills or stuffs — to lead 11-9 before the Jays had the biggest run of the entire match — 10-0. Even two Martz timeouts couldn’t stop the momentum as two aces by Youngpeter, a stuff and a bomb by Buettner, a kill by Hulihan and a dig winner by senior Madison Zuber (plus four Ottoville errors) put the visitors up 19-11. It was inevitable from then on and the Jays forced a fifth game as an Ottoville mis-hit on game point forced a fifth and deciding game.
“The fifth game just came down to a couple of mistakes,” Sterling added. “When you only go to 15, mistakes are even more crucial and harder to overcome. We didn’t get tired at all; our girls are very well conditioned, so that wasn’t an issue. Overall, we played well; we just made one too many hitting mistakes in the end. We didn’t quit when we easily could have in the third; we battled to the end.”
St. John’s senior libero Katrina Etzkorn led the defense with 32 digs.
“That fifth game, we just split it up in four parts,” Martz added. “We told the girls we wanted to beat them to five points, then eight, then 12 and 15. When we got off to the first point, it really helped us focus and relax some. Overall, we had a very good match.”
Jays’ junior varsity grabbed a 25-16, 25-21 victory.
Both teams return to action today, both with JV starts at 5:30 p.m.: St. John’s hosting Columbus Grove and Ottoville visiting Ayersville.