Volleyball roundup: Braves lose momentum in four-set loss to Shermans

By Brad Morris


Call it an early season lesson that Logan Elm coach Aaron Ridenour hopes his team learns from.

Playing in the first athletic event in the new high school gymnasium on Tuesday, the Braves came out playing with high intensity to easily win the opening set 25-15 against the visiting Unioto Shermans.

The Braves relaxed and never fully regained the early momentum they played with, as the Shermans rallied to claim a 15-25, 25-9, 28-26 and 25-23 non-league win.

Logan Elm jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the first set and used its solid all-around play to grow that advantage to 18-7 before it grabbed the early lead.

Logan Elm’s Hannah Rhoads looks to set a teammate on Tuesday against Unioto.
Photos by Scott Iles Photography

“Our girls came out and played a tremendous first set where everything went right for them,” Ridenour said. “We were aggressive and we communicated pretty well. We played great defense, had great passing and we put away the ball at the net.

“I felt like we relaxed a little bit after playing such a good first set and that caused us to lose momentum and the advantage we had. That’s a lesson for us to learn from. We have to bring it in every set and play the type of game we showed there in the first set.”

Unioto scored 16 of the first 20 points in the second set and jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the third set.

Logan Elm tried to respond and tied the third set at 12-12 following a kill of the block by Adelyn Smith.

Unioto eventually opened up leads of 20-14 and 23-17, but the Braves rallied and tied the set at 24-24 after a tip shot from Kennedy Groff found the floor.

Logan Elm’s Kimberly Groff plays a shot on Tuesday against Unioto.
Photos by Scott Iles Photography

The Braves successfully fought off a pair of Unioto set points on a kill from Smith and a service error, but an ace on set point from Madelyn Wetzel gave the Shermans the third set.

Four kills courtesy of Claire King put the Braves ahead 8-4 in the fourth set, but the Shermans countered and took their first lead of the set at 10-9. The two teams continued to play back-and-forth, with the Braves tying the set at 23-23 following a kill from Smith.

The Shermans (1-0) scored the final two points to take the set and match, closed by a kill to the back right corner from Ella Cutright.

“It took us a while to stop Unioto’s momentum and start to pick our play back up in the middle of the third set,” Ridenour said. “Our girls played hard and tried to battle back, but we made a few too many errors down the stretch in the third and fourth sets.”

Logan Elm’s Claire King makes a pass. Photos by Scott Iles Photography

King paced the Braves with 19 kills and three total blocks, Smith tallied 13 kills; Elliana Hutchison had seven kills; Groff put away five kills; Hannah Rhoads dished out 32 assists and added three total blocks and 10 digs; Kiki Ingram distributed 10 assists; Lynsay VanHoose paced the defense with 21 digs, Sadie Binkley chipped in nine digs and Kimmy Petty added eight.

Logan Elm (1-1) continues non-league play on Thursday at Westfall (0-1).

Circleville 3,
Westfall 0

Circleville opened the season on Tuesday with a 25-22, 25-15 and 25-20 non-league win over visiting Westfall.

Addison Edgington put away 16 kills and had eight blocks for the Tigers; Gabby McConnell had six kills, 10 assists and 11 digs; Ally Thornsley distributed 24 assists and added six kills, three aces and six digs and Maddie Blakeman contributed five kills and nine digs.

The Tigers (1-0) open Mid-State League Buckeye Division play on Thursday when they host Fairfield Union (2-0), while the Mustangs (0-1) continue non-conference play on the same night when they host Logan Elm (1-1).

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