BIDWELL, Ohio — Over a decade in waiting.
For the first time in over 10 years the Meigs volleyball team is sectional champion. The fifth seeded Lady Marauders defeated the number four seed River Valley, Saturday in a five set thriller in Gallia County.
Neither team could gain an early edge in the opening game but a four point swing gave Meigs (8-13) the 14-12 advantage and led to a 25-17 MHS victory.
The Lady Raiders (11-11) raced out to an early 7-4 advantage in game two, forcing MHS to burn a timeout to slow the momentum. The break in the action worked for Meigs and the Maroon and Gold rallied back to take the 11-9 lead. Trailing 17-14 the Lady Raiders got just what they needed with eight straight service points from Rachael Smith, which led to the eventual 25-21 RVHS victory.
The third game was all Meigs, as the Lady Marauders had a 64.3 sideout percentage and allowed just five RVHS service points. MHS took game three by a count of 25-13.
The fourth game featured seven lead changes and both teams with a sideout percentage of 50 or better. In the end it was a 6-to-3 run by the Lady Raiders that gave RVHS the 26-24 win and forced the fifth game.
The Maroon and Gold jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the final race to 15, but RVHS rallied back to take tie the game at 10 apiece. Meigs answered with five consecutive service points by freshman Devyn Oliver to take the 15-10 victory and the sectional title.
Devyn Oliver and Aly Dettwiller each finished with 17 service points to lead Meigs, while Olivia Cremeans had 10 and Ariel Ellis added nine. Brook Andrus and Hannah Cremeans each finished with six points to round out the MHS total. Oliver had a match-best six aces, Dettwiller had four, Oliver Cremeans finished with three, while Ellis, Andrus and Hannah Cremeans each had two aces.
Rachael Smith paced the Silver and Black with 13 service points, followed by Courtney Smith and Jacey Walter with 10 apiece. Chelsea Copley and Leia Moore each had five points, while Kaci Bryant added four to round out the RVHS total. Rachael Smith marked four aces, while Courtney Smith had three in the setback.
At the net Meigs was led by Brook Andrus and Olivia Cremeans with 17 kills apiece, while Aly Dettwiller, Ariel Ellis and Hannah Cremeans each had four. Devyn Oliver finished with three kills to round out the MHS total. Oliver finished with a match-high 25 assists, followed by Ellis with 19. The Lady Marauder defense was led by Andrus and Hannah Cremeans with two blocks apiece, while Olivia Cremeans had one.
The RVHS net attack was led by Rachael Smith with 12 kills, Leia Moore with nine kills and Kaci Bryant with seven, while Chelsea Copley, Jacey Walter and Courtney Smith each had two kills in the match. Copley and Courtney Smith led the Lady Raiders in assists. River Valley’s defensive effort was led by Rachael Smith with two blocks.
This marks the third meeting between these teams this season. Meigs won the first meeting as part of a tri-match in Meigs County. RVHS won the second meeting in five games in Bidwell. MHS earned the tie-breaker Saturday.
The 2008 season remains River Valley’s last sectional title, the Lady Raiders advanced to the district final that season.
This marks the final game for RVHS seniors Kaci Bryant, Brea Stout, Sierra Bowman and Jessica Sanders.
The Lady Marauders advance to the district semi-final game at Waverly High School on Wednesday at 6 p.m. where they will face top-seeded Westfall.