GALION — The Galion Lady Tigers volleyball team was back at it on Thursday evening as they played host to the visiting Harding Prexies in Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference action.
For Galion, it was their third match in four days but they would show no signs of fatigue as they cruised to their first straight-set victory of the 2018 season; 25-12, 25-13, 25-16. With the win, the Tigers remain undefeated in MOAC play at 3-0 and improve to 3-2 overall.
In the first set, things looked as if they would get off to a rocky start as the visitors served up an ace for the first point of the contest, followed by a reception error to give the Prexies the early 2-0 lead. However, Galion would get back on track as they notched their first point of the contest on a kill from Samantha Comer. Comer would also throw down point number two for the Tigers and Galion would refuse to look back from there. The home team would stretch their lead out to 9-7 before sophomore Kayla Hardy set up Jaden Ivy for a kill to give Galion the 10-7 advantage. On that particular point, Hardy recorded her 1,000 career assist before recording her 1,001 on the very next point. Harding would be forced to call a timeout as the Tigers continued their victory push to go ahead 14-7. Another Prexies timeout would be called when Galion made it 20-10 on a Hardy ace. The timeout would not slow the home team down as they captured the first set; 25-12.
It was much the same story in the second despite a bit of back and forth play to begin the set. Harding’s only lead came at 3-2 before Galion forced a Prexies’ timeout as they pulled ahead 14-10. From that point on, it would be all Tigers as they expanded their lead to 21-11, causing the visitors to yet again call for a breather. Harding would manage just two more points in the set as Galion cruised to the 25-13 set victory thanks to a Gracie Groves kill.
Down to their potential final set, the Prexies would see themselves fall behind early in the third and calling their first timeout with Galion ahead; 7-2. Harding would put forth their best efforts but the Tigers serving and attack game proved to be too strong as the home team wrapped up the third set and the match on another Groves’ kill; 25-16.
The serve proved to be a key element in the Tigers third victory of the season as they finished the contest with a 67/71 team effort, leading to 46 points on eight aces. Kate Scheiber racked up 13 points on 17/18 serving while also turning in two aces. Ivy also reached double-digit scoring via the serve, going 13/14 with 11 points and an ace.
Other serving stats for Galion were: Abby Foust- 13/13, 9 points, 2 aces; Hardy- 9/10, 7 points, 2 aces; Comer- 10/11, 6 points, ace and Nicole Thomas- 5/5.
Galion would see six different players record at least one kill on the evening against the Prexies, led by 16 from Comer. Groves finished the contest with nine kills while Gillian Miller and Ivy contributed eight kills apiece. Kerrigan Myers chipped in two kills and Hardy managed one kill while performing her primary setting duties. For the game, Hardy not only racked up assist number 1,000 but notched 35 assists on 75/78 setting. Comer posted two assists and Ivy and Thomas rounded out the assists for Galion with one apiece.
“It feels great,” begins Hardy after the game. “I’ve been working really hard and all of my teammates have really helped me to get to where I am right now,” wrapped Hardy, an athlete of few words. As for what’s next for the young setter?
“I don’t know…I just really want to win a State Championship,” states the former libero turned primary setter.
Defensive statistics for the Lady Tigers on Thursday were: Team: 32/36 serve reception, 2 total blocks and 55 digs; Comer- block, dig; Myers- block, 3 digs; Ivy- block, 16 digs; Miller- dig; Hardy- 5 digs; Schieber- 7 digs; Foust- 10 digs and Thomas- 12 digs.
After a few days off for Labor Day weekend, the Galion Lady Tigers will be on the road on Tuesday, September 4 when they head to Bellville for a meeting with the Clear Fork Lady Colts. On Thursday, September 6, Galion will return home for a clash with MOAC newcomers, the Shelby Lady Whippets.