GALION — Another week, another 5-set thriller for the Galion volleyball squad.
The Lady Tigers (2-1, 1-0 Mid Ohio Athletic Conference) held on to defeat Margaretta 3-2 in a non-conference match on Monday night. The final tally was 25-20, 25-21, 24-26, 15-25, 15-6.
It marked the second consecutive week that Galion went to five sets against a foe from the Sandusky Bay Conference. The Lady Tigers lost to Bellevue in five sets in the 2021 season opener on Aug. 24.
The victory avenged a 3-0 Galion loss to Margaretta during the 2020-2021 season.
“I think it’s huge for us,” Galion head coach Kathleen Davis said. “The girls came in knowing last year that Margaretta beat them in three (sets). So they were pumped and ready to go again. Overall, the girls were ready. We had that (5-set match against Bellevue) to start the season off and we knew that we could compete with higher level teams. I think the girls just believed in themselves and came together today and really worked well together.”
Margaretta (3-2) saw a two-match winning streak end with the loss to Galion. The Polar Bears defeated Bellevue in five sets on Aug. 23.
The first three sets on Monday were each tightly contested. Galion jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but needed a late surge in each set to pull away from the Polar Bears. Margaretta turned the tables in the third set to eek out a 2-point win.
The visitors built an early lead in the fourth set and cruised to a 10-point victory to even the match at two sets apiece.
It was Galion’s turn to jump out on top in the deciding set. The Lady Tigers built an early 6-1 cushion and then stretched the advantage to 13-4, forcing a Margaretta timeout. The Polar Bears attempted to rally after the timeout, built never mounted a serious threat to Galion’s lead.
Davis said her message to her club between the fourth and fifth sets was simple.
“I just told them that I believed in them,” Davis said. “I know it sounds cheesy, but I think if the girls know that I believe in them, it gives them confidence that they can accomplish what they need to do.”
In last week’s match against Bellevue, Davis praised the young Lady Tigers for displaying a tough mentality and staying in the match. She said that mental toughness served them well in the win over Margaretta.
“The mental toughness definitely came out in that fifth set,” Davis said. “To win the first two and then to lose the third and fourth, I think my girls were a little like, ‘Oh crap.’ But we have to believe in each other and trust each other that we are helping each other in the right way, and that really showed in the fifth set. They played so well as a team tonight and I’m very proud of them.”
Ashley Dyer led Galion with 21 kills and scooped up 13 digs. Hailey Young added 15 kills.
Jillian Capretta knocked down 8 kills and Madelyn Scheiber added 7. Jordan Roderick had two kills and Ella Payne and Cam Eckert added one apiece. Payne’s stat line for the match featured 55 assists and 11 digs.
Ady Monk recorded a team-best 45 digs. Kaya Capretta finished with 16 digs. Skyleigh Young added 14 digs.
Devyne Eisenhauer led Margaretta with 18 kills and 24 digs. Kylie Leibacher added 17 kills and 8 digs.
Kenna Stimmel recorded 24 digs. Jilienne Nason finished with 29 assists and 8 digs.
Galion plays host to Clear Fork in an MOAC match on Tuesday.
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