GLOUSTER, Ohio — There’s a reason they were ranked No. 1.
The South Gallia volleyball team put up a resilient fight on the road, but top-seeded Trimble ultimately ended the Lady Rebels’ season Thursday night during a 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 decision in a Division IV sectional final in Athens County.
The eighth-seeded Lady Rebels (13-11) had their six-match winning streak snapped, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort. The Lady Tomcats (17-6) stormed out to an early 15-5 edge in Game 1, but the guests rallied back to within six points at 23-17 before ultimately falling by eight points.
THS again stormed out to a sizable 18-9 edge in Game 2, but the Lady Rebels again responded with a furious comeback — which eventually closed the gap down to a five-point (23-18) deficit. The Lady Tomcats, however, landed the final two points and moved ahead 2-0 in the match.
Game 3 proved to be the most-contested, as neither squad led by more than four points until the back-half of the match. Trimble claimed leads of 13-9 and 15-11, but SGHS responded with a 4-2 run to close to within 17-15. Trimble, however, answered with eight of the final 10 points to wrap up the straight-game decision.
With the victory, Trimble advances to the D-4 district semifinals next week in Jackson — where it will face fourth-seeded South Webster. THS also won nine of the 10 games it played this year against the Lady Rebels in three matches.
It was a tough way to end what second-year SGHS coach Tracey Burnette referred to as a productive season, but she was also very proud of far her kids had come this fall in getting to this point.
“We’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs this season, but I’m really thankful for each of these girls and the effort that each of them gave,” Burnette said. “We knew tonight was going to be difficult. (Trimble coach) Howie Caldwell has led to teams to the state tournament, so any time you play one of his teams — you know they are going to be tough to defeat.
“Our girls fought for every point and played as well as they could from the start. We made Trimble earn everything tonight, so I cannot be disappointed in that. The girls should hold their heads high for what they have accomplished, especially the seniors.”
It was the final volleyball contest for SGHS seniors Jayla Wolford, Courtney Haner, Kirstin Burnette, Caitlyn VanScoy and Mariah Hineman in the Red and Gold.
Wolford and Haner led the Lady Rebels with six service points apiece, followed by Hineman with three points and Erin Evans with two points. VanScoy and Burnette also had one point each in the setback.
VanScoy led the net attack with five kills, followed by Hineman with four kills and Haner with three kills. Wolford also added two kills to go along with a team-high six blocks. Haner and Hineman also had two blocks apiece.
Kirstin Burnette led the guests with six digs, while Evans and Taylor Burnette each contributed four digs. Taylor Burnette also led the Lady Rebels with three assists.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.