Roundup: Tigers unable to sustain early momentum against Bulldogs

By Brad Morris

With three returning players with varsity experience, Circleville displayed its promise in the opening set on Thursday in a Mid-State League Buckeye Division match and later showed some youthful errors it is still trying to correct in a 25-19, 19-25, 17-25 and 20-25 loss to visiting Bloom-Carroll.

The Tigers used strong play on both offense and defense to jump out to a 17-7 lead in the match. Circleville had four blocks and was able to get its hands on several other Bloom-Carroll attacks, led by 6-foot-2 middle hitter/blocker Addison Edgington.

Circleville freshman Addison Edgington tips over the Bloom-Carroll block.

Gabby McConnell went down the line for a kill later in the set to bring up match point that Maddie Blakeman put away with a kill.

“Right now, we’re a team that plays much better when we get in front and we came out and put together a very good first set,” Circleville coach Crystal Thornsley said. “The girls came out loose, they were able to get the lead early and they played with a lot of confidence.”

After losing its first set all season, defending league champion Bloom-Carroll responded in the second set.

The Bulldogs sprinted out to an 8-3 lead and closed the set by scoring six of the final nine points to tie the match, capped by a kill and solo block by Evelyn Brown to convert set and match point.

“I felt we came out a little anxious in the first set and we probably committed around 11 or 12 errors and Circleville took it to us early, to its credit. They have a pretty good volleyball team,” Bloom-Carroll coach Kyle McFerin said. “We started to settle into the match there in the second set and really cut down our errors.

“Our two seniors, libero Jazlynn Caton and Mia Matchett, stepped up and provided leadership at key times during the match.”

Bloom-Carroll went on a mini 5-1 run to open up a 20-14 lead in the third set that Molly Barber helped put away on back-to-back kills.

Edgington came out with two kills and a block to help open the fourth set and give the Tigers an early 6-3 lead.

The two teams were later tied at 16, 17, 18 and 19, following a kill down the line by McConnell. The Bulldogs closed the set and match with six of the final seven points, capped by Corinne Knapp putting away match point.

Circleville senior Gabby McConnell on serve-receive.

“We have five hitters we are comfortable with getting the ball at critical times and that makes us a tougher team to defend,” McFerin said. “Circleville made a few runs at us, especially there in the fourth set, but I was pleased with the way our girls responded to win the match.”

Thornsley has been pleased with the intensity that the Tigers have been playing with but wants them to work on moving on when they make a mistake on the court.

“Our girls are playing hard and giving us everything they have, but we are still working on a few things that young teams often have to deal with, especially since we have just three players back with any varsity experience,” she said. “I felt we relaxed a little too much after the first set when we needed to maintain the momentum we had just gained.

“There were also times when one mistake led to another mistake or two and we need to move past that. A mistake is going to happen here or there, especially in a game like this. We need to learn to move on and compete for the next point.”

Circleville’s Ally Thornsley (7) gets a piece of a Bloom-Carroll attack.

The Tigers (4-1, 2-1) travel to the Unioto Invitational on Saturday, while the Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0) have another big league match on Tuesday when they entertain Fairfield Union (6-1, 2-1).

Bloom-Carroll — Evelyn Brown, 21; Corinne Knapp, 16; Molly Barber, 15; Sylvia Haughn, 5. Circleville — Addison Edgington, 15; Gabby McConnell, 6; Drew Hoskins, 5.
Aces Bloom-Carroll —Jazlynn Caton, 4. Circleville — Addison Edgington, 3; Maddie Blakeman, 2
Assists Bloom-Carroll —Madison Lacy, 52. Circleville —Ally Thornsley, 15; Gabby McConnell, 8.
DiggingBloom-Carroll —Jazlynn Caton, 21; Sienna Hogue, 12; Mia Matchett, 12; Madison Lacy, 7. Circleville —Ally Thornsley, 13; Gabby McConnell, 11; Maddie Blakeman, 8; Sydney Lattimer, 7.
Blocks Bloom-Carroll — Evelyn Brown, two solo and eight assisted; Madison Lacy, five assisted, Molly Barber, four assisted. Circleville —Addison Edgington, three assisted; Drew Hoskins, one solo and three assisted; Ally Thornsley , five assisted

Logan Elm 3,
Teays Valley 2

Logan Elm held off a furious comeback bid by host Teays Valley on Thursday to record a 25-14, 25-18, 22-25, 23-25 and 15-13 MSL-Buckeye win.

Claire King put away 25 kills and added 17 digs and two solo blocks and three assisted for the Braves; Adelyn Smith had 12 kills; Elliana Hutchison tallied eight kills; Hannah Rhoads dished out 40 assists and added 11 digs; Macy Greene contributed four assisted blocks; Lynsay VanHoose spearheaded the defense with 23 digs; Sadie Binkley had 15 digs and Kimmy Petty added nine digs.

Both teams continue league play on Tuesday, as the Braves (3-2, 1-1) host Hamilton Township and the Vikings (2-2, 1-1) travel to Liberty Union.

Westfall 3,
Piketon 0

Westfall served 19 aces and made quick work of host Piketon on Thursday in a 25-7, 25-9 and 25-12 Scioto Valley Conference match.

Aubrey Clark put down seven kills; Tara Wolfe had five kills; Reese Moehl tallied four kills and five digs; Jaylyn Wippel served nine aces and dished out 21 assists; Karli Thornton contributed four aces; Delana Landefeld and Leah Johnston had eight digs apiece and Morgan Riddick scooped up five digs.

The Mustangs (2-3, 1-1) continue conference play on Tuesday when they host Huntington.

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