Connect with us

Volleyball

SOUTHERN SENDS A CLEAR MESSAGE

PHOTO CREDIT: JT HIGGINS

SALINEVILLE OH- The top of the EOAC volleyball standings will be hotly contested throughout the 2022 season. Southern Local sent a clear message to everyone else in the league Thursday night as the Indians took out perennial contender Columbiana in straight sets 25-7, 26-24, 25-17.

The match had all the makings of a contest that would be like a prized title bout between two fighters that would trade punches all night. The Indians would land the first big blow and never let up. Trailing 4-3 in the 1st set Southern Libero Kya McCulley would reel off 13 straight points giving the Indians a commanding 16-4 lead on their way to a first set 25-7 victory.

The second set proved to be much more competitive as the Clippers were able to shake the nerves and correct many of the errors made plaguing the young squad in the 1st set.  Columbiana would lead the 2nd set much of the way and held a 24-22 lead late before a service error gave the ball back to the Indians with the chance to serve out for the win. Rylee Mellott who up until that point struggled with her service game stepped to the service line with the confidence of her coach Bob Shansky ” I told her during the prior timeout to relax, just get the ball in, and we will take care of the rest.”

That plan was executed as the Indians would reel off three straight points leading to a 26-24 2nd set win and ultimately taking the air out of the Columbiana sails on the night. The 3rd and final set saw Columbiana show that  the young squad still had fight in them. It was the presence at the net by Southern’s Olivia Kerns that would snuff out any hopes of a Columbiana comeback on the night. Kerns,10 blocks, would seemingly impact every attempt around the net by Columbiana, an effort her head coach acknowledged “This is Olivia’s first season of varsity volleyball, the way she goes out there and performs is just tremendous and her teammates truly recognize her effort.”

Southern was led by Ashley Shroades with 24 kills and Ester Forbes 13 points and 4 kills. Rylee Mellott set her teammates up all evening posting 42 assists. Columbiana was led by Cameron Perkins with 3 kills, 5 aces and 15 digs. Ava Heinrich and Ellie Jackson each posted 10 and 7 digs respectively for the Clippers.

Columbiana (3-2, 3-1) looks to get back on track Tuesday as they host Lisbon. Southern (5-1, 4-0) has another huge test in the EOAC as rival Wellsville visits Salineville on Tuesday.

*Contributed By YSN’s Chris Sigler

More in Volleyball