GALION — A newcomer to the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference in the likes of the Shelby Lady Whippets headed to Tiger Town on Thursday evening for a clash with the Galion Lady Tigers.
Galion was looking to remain undefeated in conference play and would do just that, handing Shelby a straight-set defeat; 25-8, 27-25, 25-17. The Tigers improve to 5-2 overall and sit atop the MOAC standings, alongside the Ontario Lady Warriors, at 5-0.
It would be the Lady Whippets getting on the board first to begin the contest but their 1-0 lead would prove to be their last of the opening set. After tying the game 1-1 on a Shelby service error, the Tigers hit the ground running and jump out to an eight-point lead at 12-4, forcing the visitors to call a timeout. The break would not appear to be fruitful for the Shelby squad as Galion kept the intensity alive as they went on to claim the first set with ease; 25-8.
Jaden Ivy got the scoring started in set number two with a kill and the two teams would play back and forth before the Lady Whippets took their first lead of the second set at 4-3. As both squads jostled throughout the frame, Shelby would eventually go up six points at 12-6, forcing Galion head coach Jaime Valentine to call a timeout. The visitors would remain in the lead and would go up by a score of 20-15, causing another timeout to be called by Valentine. After the breather, the final stretch of the set would be a true battle as Shelby found themselves just two points from the set win at 23-17, but Galion had other ideas. Samantha Comer spiked home a crucial kill to bring it to 23-18, handing Ivy the ball at the service line. Ivy would ace the first attempt before the Whippets tacked on point 24. With the score sitting at 24-19, Comer came up big at the net again with one of her game-high 13 kills to put the serve back with the home team. Comer notched another kill, followed by a kill from Gillian Miller and the game moved to 24-22 as Shelby called a timeout. The break didn’t deter the Tigers’ determination and Comer slammed home Galion’s 23rd point before knotting the game at 24 apiece. Miller recorded a kill to give Galion the 25-24 advantage, their first lead since they lead 2-0 early in the set. The Whippets responded to bring the score to 24-25 before Miller picked up point 26. An unlikely kill from primary ball-handler Kayla Hardy secured the set for the blue and orange; 27-25.
With the momentum clearly on their side and a diving hustle-play by Hardy leading to a Comer kill, the Tigers were off and running in the decisive third set. Another Hardy kill, followed by a Nicole Thomas ace on the serve made it 3-0 early. After tacking on their fourth point, Ivy provided Galion with a 5-0 lead before Shelby managed to get on the board. More aggressiveness at both sides of the net and stellar serving from Ivy and Kate Schieber stretched the Tigers’ advantage to 13-2 before the visitors called a timeout. Miller proceeded to make it 14-2 for the home team after the break before Shelby rambled off six points to bring the score to 14-8. Galion’s serve game and attacks at the net would prove to be too much to handle for the Lady Whippets though and the Tigers would clinch the match by winning the third set; 25-17.
Serving statistics for Galion in the win on Thursday were: Team- 69/75 attempts, 45 points, 9 aces; Schieber- 21/22, 16 points, 2 aces; Ivy- 13/15, 9 points, 4 aces; Thomas- 11/13, 7 points, 2 aces; Hardy- 8/9, 6 points, ace; Abby Foust- 8/8, 4 points and Comer- 8/8, 3 points.
Offensive numbers for the Lady Tigers were: Team- 75/86 attacking, 40 kills, 101/106 handling, 38 assists; Comer- 13 kills, 2 assists; Miller- 10 kills; Ivy- 9 kills, 3 assists; Brooklyn Cosey- 3 kills; Hardy- 3 kills, 30 assists; Gracie Groves- 2 kills; Foust- 2 assists and Schieber- assist.
Defensive figures in the win for the blue and orange were: Team- 36/41 serve reception, solo block, 6 assisted blocks, 4 total blocks, 42 digs; Comer- 3 blocks, 3 digs; Miller- block, dig; Cosey- 3 blocks; Thomas- 13 digs; Ivy- 12 digs; Hardy- 5 digs; Schieber- 5 digs and Foust- 3 digs.
The two top squads in the conference will meet, in Galion, on Tuesday, September 11 when the Ontario Lady Warriors head to town. On Thursday, the Lady Tigers will hit the road to clash with MOAC foe, Buckeye Valley Lady Barons. Next Saturday, Galion will head to Shelby to participate in the Shelby Invite.
Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy
Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048