The Archbold volleyball team celebrated Senior Night by pulling a broom out of their home closet on Tuesday and sweeping the visiting Wauseon Indians, 3-0, in NWOAL action. And while the white washing may have been impressive, it certainly was not easy. All three games were extremely close with the Streaks winning 25-21, 25-22 and 25-21.
The first set was tight most of the way through, with both teams going on small runs and exchanging the lead several times. Archbold had an early 3-2 lead until Amy Bosell drilled a shot through three defenders to tie the set at three all. The Streaks scored the next two, then watched as the Indians scored four straight with Bosell on serve.
The teams split the next four points to give Wauseon a 9-7 lead but the two-point advantage did not last very long. Archbold took back the serve on an Andi Peterson spike and ran off four more points to go up 12-9. The Indians responded with their own run of five and again led by two.
The Streaks maintained their composure and quickly tied the game at 15. They went up by three and slowly pulled away, leading at one point 24-19. A Wauseon rally fell short and Archbold took set one 25-21.
In the second set the Indians jumped out to a 7-2 lead after scoring five in a row and maintained that margin until it was 12-7. Archbold managed to pull within two at 12-10, but Wauseon fought back thanks to the aggressive play of Morgan Bzovi at the libero position, and stretched the lead back to five at 19-14.
“She has really stepped up big for us this year,” said Blanchong of his senior defender. “And by far she’s our best defensive player.”
At this point, however, the Blue Streaks started to rally and eventually pulled into a tie at 20-20. They finally captured the lead and went up by two, 23-21, on big block by Alyssa Ziegler. The Indians were unable to recover and fell 25-22.
“I felt like we really needed to win that second game,” said Wauseon coach Bill Blanchong, explaining how his team could have been more competitive in the match. “We had the lead for quite a bit it but then an official’s call didn’t go our way and we couldn’t get our momentum back. Momentum is very big in volleyball.”
Scrambling to get back into the match, the Indians were able to forge a one-point lead at 12-11 almost halfway through the third set. But the Streaks, on the other hand, had other ideas. After regaining the serve and tying the game, Peterson served up another seven straight and Archbold was firmly in control with a 19-12 lead.
The Indians rallied several times but could never get closer than four points and the Streaks closed out the set and the match with a 25-21 victory.
“It was a great match with a great rival and I was glad to see us come out on top,” commented Archbold coach Jill Holdgreve.
Wauseon finishes the regular season with a 12-10 record overall and 3-5 in league play and will now prepare for the state sectional tournament. Archbold improves to 4-4 in the league and 10-12 overall, and will play Ottawa Hills in a first round sectional match at home next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Bill O’Connell can be reached at email@example.com