BRIDGEPORT — The win didn’t come quite as easily as in past years, but Ohio managed a four-set triumph over West Virginia in Sunday’s 13th annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Volleyball Match played at Bridgeport High School.
In fact, had it not been for the stellar play of a quartet of local players, Ohio may have suffered only its second setback ever in the event. The 25-17, 19-25, 25-15, 25-20 decision came about, in large part, due to the solid play of Lynsey Beros (Buckeye Trail), Morgan Diehl (Shenandoah), Mallory Taylor (Cambridge) and Karli Tellep (Meadowbrook).
In the first set, Beros teamed up with Nevada Dobbs (Beaver Local) to power the Buckeye staters. Dobbs pounded a pair of early kills with assists from Beros to help keep Ohio within striking distance of the Mountaineers, who’s largest lead came at 12-7.
Behind Diehl’s serving and Dobbs’ hitting, Ohio powered into a 14-12 lead and were never headed. Down the stretch, Beros kept dishing out assists to an array of hitters. Dobbs contributed a final pair of kills and an ace to go along with two key blocks by Chelsie Roberts (Monroe Central) and a ace serve by Morgan Campbell (East Liverpool).
Set two went to West Virginia as the Ohioans committed a flurry of errors, enabling the Mountaineers to cruise to a 19-11 lead. Although Tellep provided some solid blocking down the stretch, Ohio couldn’t keep from miscues which put the win into the Mountaineers’ column.
Ohio started strong in the third set, with the Beros-Dobbs combo leading the hosts to an early 9-4 lead. Campbell and Roberts also shone for the winners. Beros also served tough in the set’s latter stages, allowing her team’s lead to swell to 21-10. Late kills from Diehl and Campbell put the set away.
When the fourth set began, West Virginia played some of its best volleyball of the afternoon, seizing leads of 14-11 and 15-12. Only the play of Diehl and Taylor kept Ohio close.
The momentum swung Ohio’s way with two Tellep blocks and some tough Diehl serving, forcing a West Virginia ime-out with Ohio into an 18-17 lead.
Following a tie another Tellep kill sent Ohio into a lead it would not relinquish. Down the stretch, kills by Tellep and Taylor kept West Virginia from sending the match into a fifth set.
All the local players finished with good stat lines. Taylor and Tellep each had five kills and seven blocks. Beros finished with 17 assists and five digs. Diehl provided four ace serves, a pair of digs, six kills and a two blocks.
Dobbs paced the Ohio hitters with a match-high 12 kills. She also added 10 digs and five blocks. Kylie Smith (Edison) chipped in eight digs. Annie Turner (River) had eight assists.
For West Virginia, Lacee Porter (Oak Glen) had a strong match with 10 digs and seven kills. Abby Tick (Oak Glen) added 11 digs. Logan Cosper (Paden City) had seven helpers, while Lynnsie Parson finished with three ace serves.