GALION — On Tuesday night, one of two things were possible for the Galion Lady Tigers volleyball squad. Galion played host to the traveling Buckeye Valley Lady Barons in an important Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference contest.
If Galion were to lose, they would find themselves tied with one other team atop the conference, meaning a share of the MOAC title. Pleasant hosted Ontario and defeated the Lady Warriors in three sets. Pleasant and Galion, in a Tigers’ loss scenario, would be co-champs.
The Lady Tigers had other plans though for their senior night and defeated the Lady Barons in three sets to win the MOAC championship outright; 25-16, 25-23, 25-23. With the win, Galion finishes the regular season at 16-6 overall and 13-1 within the league.
Josie Ehrman, Claire Miller and Marisa Gwinner were all recognized before the beginning of the varsity contest in emotional fashion.
Buckeye Valley began the contest with the first serve in the set but it would be Galion getting the scoring started on a Kasidee Sinclair kill. The match would see the first of a total of 26 total ties happen at 1-1 in that opening set before Buckeye Valley stretched things out to a 4-1 lead. The Lady Tigers would claw their way back with their varied net attackers and stout serving to take the first set; 25-16.
The final two sets would provide a back-and-forth battle in every true meaning. Set number two saw 10 ties and five lead changes and the third set; nine ties and the lead changing hands five more times. Each time that Galion trailed, they showed their grit and determination to prevail and earn the crown.
“I am really proud of our three seniors and this whole team,” states Galion head coach Jaime Valentine. “They showed perseverance tonight and all season,” continued the joyous Valentine.
Service stats on the night for Galion were: Team- 62/71 serving, 4 aces, 39 points; Abby Foust- 13/14, 10 points, ace; Nicole Thomas- 11/14, 9 points, ace; Kayla Hardy- 13/13, 8 points; Jaden Ivy- 5/7, 5 points; Sinclair- 6/8, 2 points; Samantha Comer- 4/5, 2 points; Gwinner- 2/2, point, ace; Kate Schieber- 5/5, point and Ehrman- 3/3, point.
Offensive stats for the Lady Tigers were: Team- 91/111 attacking, 44 kills, 135/139 handling, 36 assists; Gwinner- 22 kills; Sinclair- 12 kills; Comer- 5 kills, assist; Ivy- 4 kills; Gillian Miller- kill; Thomas- 2 assists and Hardy- 33 assists.
Defensive statistics for the home team were: Team- 5 solo blocks, 9 assisted blocks, 10 total blocks, 73 digs; Gwinner- 11 blocks, 4 digs; Ivy- 3 blocks, 18 digs; Thomas- 15 digs; Hardy- 11 digs; Sinclair- 8 digs; Comer- 7 digs; Ehrman- 6 digs; Foust- 3 digs and Schieber- dig.
“Now, we have to take things one game at a time,” says Valentine in regards to the upcoming tourney schedule. “We will practice, have a postseason scrimmage and do the studying in hopes that we can find ourselves advancing for a possible rematch with Crestview.”
Galion will have an extended break as they were granted a first-round bye in the Attica District sectional tournament. The Lady Tigers first postseason action will not take place until Saturday, Oct. 21 when they host the winner of the Bucyrus and Edison contest on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
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