The toughest week of the 2015 season opened with a pair of losses for the Galion volleyball squad, including its first defeat in Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference play since Sept. 5.
The Tigers (10-5, 6-3 MOAC) lost matches to two of the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association’s (OHSVCA) top ranked programs on Monday and Tuesday. Edison, No. 11 in this week’s Div. III poll, handed the Tigers a defeat in four sets on Monday at the GHS gym. On Tuesday, Jonathan Alder, the third-ranked squad in Div. II, swept Galion for the second time this season.
The Chargers (12-1) jumped out to a two-set lead after winning, 25-23 and 25-19. Galion rebounded to take the third set, 25-23. Edison won a wild fourth set, 27-25.
Taylor Valentine led the Tigers with 23 kills and 33 digs. Marisa Gwinner recorded 18 kills and a team-high four blocks.
Ashley Flowers finished with 28 digs. Callie Wildenthaler added 14 digs. Bradlee Saterfield had 42 assists and 11 digs.
No statistics for Edison were available.
On Tuesday at Plain City, Jonathan Alder (16-0, 9-0 MOAC) captured the first set, 26-24, then posted 25-16 and 25-14 wins in the next two sets to remain undefeated.
The Pioneers have not lost a set in MOAC play in 2015, and have only dropped two sets all season. The only teams to win a set against Alder were Pickerington North and Marysville on Aug. 22 at the Marysville Spike-Off Invitational.
The loss to the Pioneers put an end to Galion’s six-match winning streak in MOAC Red Division play. The Tigers’ last conference defeat was against Jonathan Alder on Sept. 5 at Galion.
Alder’s Karlee Reynolds and Alexa Hasting each had 11 kills to lead the Pioneers on Tuesday. Shannon Kirkey added eight kills and Katie Smith recorded five. Natalie Regula and Maddie Fuller chipped in with three kills apiece.
Reynolds finished with two blocks. Smith and Fuller each had one block.
McKenna Hostetler led Alder with 10 digs. Regula added eight and Hasting tallied seven. Jaquelyn Chapman and Julie Jakse chipped in with five digs each.
Regula led the Pioneers with 31 assists. She was also 16-for-16 serving with two aces.
Valentine led Galion with 11 kills and 18 digs. Marisa Gwinner recorded seven kills and two blocks and was 10-for-10 serving.
Kiki Staton added four kills and Gabby Abouhassan tallied two for the Tigers. Staton and Abouhassan each had one block. Saterfield had one kill.
Saterfield also had 21 assists and six digs. She was 10-for-10 on serve.
Staton and Flowers finished eight digs apiece. Wildenthaler and Dusty Thomas had four digs each. Gwinner and Chloe McCleese had one dig apiece.
The Tigers lost the junior varsity match to Alder, 25-12, 25-10.
Galion will try to bounce back on Thursday during a Red Division road match against River Valley. The varsity match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The freshman match starts at 4:30 p.m., followed by the JV match.
The Vikings (4-10, 3-6 MOAC) defeated Marion Harding in five sets on Tuesday to put the brakes on a four-match losing skid.
Galion swept River Valley, 25-20, 25-13, 25-16, in their first meeting on Sept. 8. That win kickstarted the Tigers’ six-match MOAC winning streak.
The Pioneers will try to keep their winning streak intact on Thursday when they play host to Buckeye Valley (4-12, 1-9 MOAC). Alder swept the Barons, 25-10, 25-9, 25-10, on Sept. 8 at Delaware.
Galion faces off against yet another ranked team on Saturday when the Tigers travel to Buckeye Central. The Buckettes (10-4, 7-3 Northern 10) are ranked No. 10 in this week’s OHSVCA Div. IV poll.
Buckeye Central’s six-match winning streak ended on Tuesday with a four-set loss to Northern 10 Athletic Conference leader Upper Sandusky. The Rams (13-2, 11-0 N10) are ranked 17th in this week’s OHSVCA Div. II poll.
Red Division notebook
Jonathan Alder now holds a two-match lead over second-place Pleasant (11-5, 7-2 MOAC) in the Red Division. The Pioneers defeated the Spartans, 25-16, 25-14, 25-11, in their first meeting on Sept. 15 at Plain City. They will meet again on Oct. 8 at Marion.
Galion’s Taylor Valentine leads the Red Division with 283 kills. Valentine is also among the top five in hitting percentage (.364, third), digs (244, fourth) and serving aces (22, fifth).
Bradlee Saterfield is top of the table in assists with 511. Marisa Gwinner is fifth in total blocks with 70.
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.