PICKERINGTON — As Logan coach Stacey Ballenger said, the Lady Chiefs’ volleyball trek to Pickerington on Saturday “had its ups and downs.”
The Lady Chiefs were flattened 25-9, 25-8 by Dublin Scioto in the first round of a triangular match before giving host Pickerington Central a tussle before falling 25-13, 15-25, 25-17. They then lost in straight sets 25-16, 25-21, 25-23 Monday night at Zane Trace.
On Sunday, Logan was seeded No. 40 out of 49 Central District Division I teams and drew No. 14 Grove City (12-6) as its opening-round tournament foe.
Logan travels to Grove City next Tuesday, Oct. 15 (6 p.m.), with the winner advancing to a sectional final two nights later at ninth-seeded Pickerington North (16-4).
Ironically, Grove City hosts Pickerington North in its regular-season finale this Thursday. And, also ironically, Pickerington North visited Logan for a sectional final last season and knocked the Lady Chiefs out of the tournament.
The Lady Chiefs (4-16 through Monday) have dropped six-consecutive matches heading into tonight’s Senior Night home finale against Nelsonville-York. They finish their regular season Thursday at Alexander.
On Saturday, “we know that we did not play to anywhere near our potential during the Dublin Scioto match, and I honestly do not want to focus on it too much because it is not a true showing of who we are,” Ballenger noted. “We knew we needed to just move past that match if we wanted a chance of being successful against Pickerington Central.”
They did, but not until after dropping the first set against the Lady Tigers (8-10).
“The first set did not go our way and we still made some of the consistent mistakes we have been making… not moving our feet, losing our communication” and so forth, Ballenger revealed. “The second set, however, was probably the most exciting of our entire season.”
Everyone on the Logan bench played in the second set “so everyone had someone they were switching with,” Ballenger pointed out. “Some played more than usual and some sat out more than usual. But they all played together as a team. Our bench was constantly showing support and doing chants to keep the energy up (and) the ones on the court gave it everything they had and did not let a ball hit the floor.
“Jenna Wilson went on a serving spree which forced Pick Central to take a time out when the score was 19-12,” she continued. “Ammryn Roberts and Madison Norman were passing/digging so well. The positivity and the pure ‘want’ to win was something that could not be overturned on our side of the court.”
Logan won that set 25-15 before falling short in the third set.
“The girls were pumped to start set three. We ended up falling short, but they never gave up,” Ballenger praised. “I was so extremely proud of how hard they played and how they came together as one. Despite the loss, I walked out feeling like we won.”
Statistics vs. Pickerington Central: Wilson eight service points (three aces), nine assists, two digs; Ashanti Evans six points, six kills, eight assists, two digs; Tabi Eveland four points, three kills, six digs; Olivia Wright three points, four kills, three blocks; Amanda Chandler three points, three kills, four blocks; Lanie Bainter one point, four kills, four digs; Roberts 10 digs and 17 good serve receptions; Cailin Cook-Porter three kills and two digs; Ella Guthrie three kills and three blocks; Norman six digs, Gracie Swope four digs.
Statistics vs. Scioto: Evans one point, one ace, three assists; Wright two points; Eveland one point; Wilson two assists and one kill; Bainter and Chandler two kills each; Roberts three digs; Swope two digs, Cook-Porter one block.
Monday night’s match at Zane Trace was another up-and-down contest for the Lady Chiefs.
“After the spirit that everyone had during the Pickerington Central match on Saturday, I really thought this was going to be a match that we could go into feeling positive and produce positive results,” Ballenger said. “We had some really great moments tonight, but once again, we made errors at the wrong times. At this point in the season, we should have perfected some of the aspects we have been working on over the past couple of months.
“One of those items is ‘communication on the court,’ This seems to be an area that we can’t excel in,” she continued. “In order to win multiple matches, teams have to be able to communicate successfully on the court. We are not consistent in this area. We had some good passes, good sets, good hits, but we were not able to go above and beyond.”
Logan statistics: Bainter eight points (three aces) on 12-12 serving, 12-18 hitting, five kills; Cook-Porter five points (one ace) on 9-10 serving, 12-14 hitting, five kills, five blocks; Wilson four points, 10-11 serving, four kills, seven digs, seven assists; Evans four points (one ace), 9-10 serving, three kills, nine digs, 13 assists; Wright four points (one ace), 9-9 serving, 12-17 hitting, three kills, two blocks; Swope one point (one ace), 3-3 serving, 6-9 serve reception; Chandler six points and eight blocks; Eveland two kills and 11 digs; Guthrie 3-5 hitting and three kills, and Roberts eight digs.
“I am hoping that all of the girls can walk in (tonight against N-Y) and be ready to go,” Ballenger said. “I know that the seniors would like a memorable night.”
Reserve girls win at ZT: The Lady Chiefs’ reserves (15-5) defeated Zane Trace 25-10, 25-9 Monday night.
Kylie Pippin had 11 points, five digs and three kills and Guthrie added nine points, four kills and two blocks for the winners. Brynn Parks had six points, five kills and four digs, Avery Horn four points and eight assists, Emma McKinney four points, two kills and five digs, and Norman five points.