A sweep of River Valley was just what the doctor ordered for the Galion volleyball squad. The Tigers snapped a two-match losing skid after conquering the Vikings, 25-20, 25-13, 25-16, on Tuesday at the GHS gym.
Galion head coach Jaime Valentine was disappointed with her team’s performance against Jonathan Alder last Saturday. The Pioneers swept the Tigers in three games. That loss, combined with a five-set defeat at Pleasant a week ago Tuesday, left Galion without a win in Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference play.
Valentine said she was pleased with the team’s response in the wake of a tough workout on Labor Day.
“We had a pretty intense practice, worked on a lot of defense (Monday),” said Valentine, whose team improved to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in MOAC play. “After I went over the film (from the Alder match), we were out of position just way too many times, so we worked on that. They definitely made the adjustments tonight.”
Taylor Valentine recorded 15 kills and Marisa Gwinner pounded 14 kills to lead the Galion attack. Gwinner recorded five blocks, including one that accounted for the match-winning point in the third set. Kiki Staton and Chloe McCleese had four kills each. Bradlee Saterfield had three kills and Callie Wildenthaler added one kill. Saterfield handed out 32 assists.
The improved defensive effort showed up in the stat book on Tuesday. In addition to Gwinner’s five blocks, Valentine had three blocks and Saterfield added two.
Valentine and Ashley Flowers recorded eight digs apiece. Wildenthaler and Dusty Thomas each had four digs. Kasidee Sinclair finished with three and Saterfield had two. Gwinner and McCleese were each credited with one dig.
Galion’s serve receive, ball handling and serving was much improved from Saturday’s match. The Tigers committed just three receiving errors and three ball handling errors against River Valley. Galion had only two serving errors in the win over the Vikings.
Valentine was forced to adjust her player rotation for Tuesday’s match due to the absence of middle hitter Gabby Abouhassan, who was sidelined because of illness. The coach said she was happy with how the Tigers responded.
“You know I was a little bit worried because my one middle hitter is sick, so we had a completely different lineup,” said Valentine. “But they actually worked through it. I got my freshman setter (Kasidee Sinclair) a little playing time tonight in the third game, so I was happy with their performance tonight.”
Sinclair finished with three assists.
With the loss, River Valley fell to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the MOAC.
The schedule for the rest of the week doesn’t get any easier for the Tigers. Galion travels to Fairbanks on Thursday and plays in the Shelby Invitational on Saturday. Opposition at Shelby includes South Central, Western Reserve and Crestview. Matches begin at 10 a.m.
“It’ll be tough,” Valentine said.
Up next for River Valley is a home match on Thursday against North Union. The Lady Wildcats (3-2, 2-2 MOAC) lost to Pleasant on Tuesday.
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.