It wasn’t easy or at times pretty, but at the end of the day a win is a win and Wauseon went to Pettisville and did just that in volleyball Thursday 25-21, 25-11, 26-24.
“They are a very well-coached team,” Wauseon coach Bill Blanchong said of the Blackbirds. “We knew we’d have to come in here and earn it (the win).”
After picking up wins in the first two games, Wauseon needed a rally to finish the sweep. Trailing 23-21 after a pair of miscues gave the Birds points, the Indians needed a timeout. After the timeout, an errant serve, plus a play by Sydney Zirkle and a kill from Lexi Sauber put Wauseon ahead.
Pettisville did come back to tie the game, however, Wauseon had one more small run left. Taking the lead on a violation on a long kill attempt, Wauseon finished off the match on a point scored by Tamera Smith.
“Tamera Smith played some very smart ball,” lauded the Wauseon coach. “She really shined. It was really fun to see that.”
Wauseon had to hold off a late Pettisville rally to win the opening game. Down 23-14, Reyana Klopfenstein and Mauricea Crouch were bookends of a four-point run before a Wauseon timeout. The Indians gave the Birds two more points when play resumed on a pair of errors.
“I thought we set the tone early,” Blanchong said on taking an early lead. “They fought back in that first game.”
Clinging to a 23-21 lead, the Indians scored a point on a Pettisville serve that went long, then took the opening game on a point by Zirkle.
“We’ve had some sets this season where we’ve gone down early and we’ve clawed our way back point-by-point,” explained Pettisville coach John Horning. “We can be resilient at times. We’re still trying to figure out who we are as a team.”
Trejo and Sauber played big parts of the second game that was all Indians. Trejo fired four aces from the serving line and Sauber added three kills and four blocks at the net to carry Wauseon.
“We dominated the second game but I knew they weren’t going to go away,” the Wauseon coach said of Pettisville. “We had to fight for every point in that third game.
“Last week, she’s really taken control of her serve,” Blanchong mentioned of Trejo. “Honestly, I thought all three of my seniors (Trejo, Sauber, Smith) played great.”
Morgan Leppelmeier led the Birds with seven kills and 15 digs. Crouch added 11 assists and two blocks.
Wauseon (4-1) hosts Liberty Center next Thursday in Northwest Ohio Athletic League play. Pettisville (3-2) hosts North Central the same night in Buckeye Border Conference action.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org